From my Forbes.com blog The New Persuaders:
Recently, I’ve been seeing a Sponsored Story ad on Facebook pages indicating that several friends “like” Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. No surprise there. Sponsored Stories are those personalized ads the social network allows advertisers to run that show friends have “liked” a brand, and they’re increasingly common as Facebook doubles down on social advertising.
But what on Earth was the name of a friend, who I know is a vocal Obama supporter, doing on a Romney ad? The answer raises questions about how effective, or at least how accurate, these ads are–not necessarily due to a particular fault by Facebook but thanks to the byzantine rules and privacy features that have developed over years of user outrage and resulting Facebook accommodations.
Anyway, I asked my friend if he knew he was shilling for Romney. His response:
“Lol…..I liked him so I could see his FB feed. You should read my comments.” [Hint: They’re not complimentary.]
To be clear, you can see Romney’s posts on his page without “liking” him, but to see them in your own news feed, you need to “like” him. And once you do, like it or not, you become potential fodder for an ad that will appear to your friends.
Another friend of a friend who’s an Obama supporter also was surprised to see his name on a Romney ad. He told his friend:
“I never liked his page. I commented on one of their crazy lies.. gave them a serious piece of my mind ya know!!!!! All kinds of people have been telling me why do u like Mitt???? I’m pissed!!!” …
Independents need to be forced to make the stark chcoie between a real conservative v. a real leftist. Then, if we lose, we lose, and this country will sadly get what it asked for.Whether that real conservative should be Gingrich or Cain, I am not sure. Gingrich has a lot of baggage, but boy does he perform well in the debates. The man knows what he’s talking about. Cain is a breath of fresh air, but inexperienced. Mitt Romney is a RINO and I truly hope he does not get the nod. Principles come first. Oh, and John Hunts-who?On an unrelated note, from a comment I saw on the edge of the sandbox: hey. I took the boys to Tea Party events. The environments never felt any different than other large gatherings: football games, 4th of July, Busch Gardens. But then, I’ve gone as far as Budapest with the kids in tow, so I may not be typical.best to you my friendLinda