Facebook to train U.S. businesses on ads after Russia scandal

FILE PHOTO: The Facebook application is seen on a phone screen
FILE PHOTO: The Facebook application is seen on a phone screen August 3, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/File Photo

November 9, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is kicking off an effort to get U.S. small businesses to spend more on advertising as the image of the social media network’s ads have taken a hit for their role in alleged Russian attempts to sway U.S. voters.

Zuckerberg is traveling on Thursday to St. Louis, Missouri, to launch the program, after which Facebook will dispatch teams to 30 U.S. cities next year to run free training classes about its advertising, the company said in a statement.

Facebook disclosed in September that Russians bought ads on its platform in an attempt to divide Americans in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The Russian government has denied meddling in the election.

The company has responded by pledging to root out fake accounts and build a publicly searchable archive of ads related to elections, among other steps.

Facebook named five of the 30 cities it will target for its advertising push: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Des Moines, Iowa; Greenville, South Carolina; Houston, Texas; and St. Louis.

Politicians including Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas are backing the effort, Facebook said.

Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google have come to dominate digital advertising with self-serve platforms that allow people to buy highly targeted ads based on data Facebook and Google collect about users.

That has come at the expense of traditional players such as newspapers, and it has spooked consumer advocates who are concerned about the rise of a duopoly.

(Reporting by David Ingram in San Francisco; Editing by Colleen Jenkins)

  • shafawn

    Democrats got exposed for the corrupt rotten cabbages they are so they needed a quick boogie man. It’s always slight of hand magic tricks with the Clintons.
    Putin is no better or worse than any other socialist leader in the world…. which includes Hillary