In an article for CNBC, Julia Boorstin covers the most recent development in FaceBook’s ongoing transparaceny debacle that this time involves Presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg. Facebook is apparently concerned about the lack of transparency regarding Bloomberg’s campaign in regards to campaign staffers and activists using the platform to garner support for the former New York Mayor’s Presidential campaign. Currently, posts advocating for Bloomberg’s campaign don’t specifically indicate that these endorsements are in fact created by paid campaign staffers and supporters. According to the article, Facebook is in the process of considering necessary steps to increase transparency and make these campaign posts more obvious in their partiality. In recent months, the social media juggernaut has been progressively taking steps to gain users trust through increased transparency regarding campaign advertisements as a result of the Cambridge Analytical debacle the company faced in early 2018. That particular scandal arose after it was reported that the company had unethically gathered user data to target political ads supporting Donald Trump for President in 2016. Since then Facebook has instituted new policies such as flagging political ads and launching a database that reports ad purchases in relation to politics and special interests.
I find it interesting that Facebook is now reactively making transparency regarding advertisements on its platform a priority after years of ignoring the issue altogether. The mounting distrust and negative press the site has received in recent years has obviously had some kind of effect on the company’s standards in relation to transparency on the platform. It remains to be seen however if the company can rebound from the awful public relations issues the site has been facing in recent times and potentially gain consumer trust.