Facebook ads also reach 12 out of every 7 young adults in the U.S.!
Facebook makes up their advertising reach numbers:
According to Facebook, there are 41 million adults between the ages of 18 and 24. However, according to data from the U.S. census, there are just 31 million. Facebook also says there are 60 million between the ages of 25 and 34, while the U.S. census puts its estimate at just 35 million.
And apparently for just $100,000, you can reach 126 million people!
For just a few million $s you could reach trillions of people on earth!
I have not written much about the use of Facebook by propagandists linked to Russia. These stories may be standard issue social media-based fake news using inflammatory posts designed for online sharing, with the goal of driving eye balls to ad filled web pages. In other words, it just a business.
Inflammatory issue-oriented ads and fake news posts said to have originated with in Russia may be social media-based online publishers, selling eyeballs to advertisers. Who knows? May be there is more to the story but after a year of government investigations, the story mutated from Russia hacked the election to someone in Russia bought Facebook ads and posted fake news. This sounds similar to a classic social media-based, online, for profit, fake news publishing model. There are more descriptions of the postings in this article and they sound a lot like fake news publishing. (Update – But also see this newer post about Internet Research [Agency] – they use the methods of fake news publishers but their goal may not be making a profit. Their social media activities took all sides – for and against candidates and issues: “Their goal is to create confusion and dissent. The target is the U.S. and NATO, not any particular candidate. They just want chaos“.)
The real story here is how surprisingly easy it is for anyone to use Facebook, Twitter and Google as a platform for the mass dissemination of propaganda messaging.
The end of the story does note the propaganda problem on social media:
BEYOND ADS The issue goes far beyond ads. Fake news, fake events, propaganda and other misinformation spread far and wide on social media services in 2016 without the need for paid advertisements. But regulating online speech would be more difficult for U.S. lawmakers.
In addition, analysts and online speech advocates have warned that policing internet election ads is not the same thing as doing so in print newspapers or on TV. Automated advertising platforms allow basically anyone with an internet account and a credit card to place an ad with little or no oversight from the companies.
But then, they made an odd word choice in the article – “Russians had infiltrated some of their platforms”? Setting up a FB account, which anyone in the world can do, or buying an ad, which anyone in the world can do in about one minute for about US$5.00 on FB, is “infiltrating“? The choice of the wrong word – infiltrating – is an example of propaganda spin – or perhaps in this case, someone was not thinking about what the word means.