Report: Michael Bloomberg Campaign Paying Californians to Praise Him Online — and in Private Texts

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Multibillionaire Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign is bankrolling hundreds of Californians to post positive endorsements of him on social media, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Bloomberg’s campaign hired 500 “deputy digital organizers” in California to promote the 78-year-old multibillionaire through daily social media posts and weekly text messages to everyone on their contact lists.

The effort is a test-pilot in California for now, but could be expanded to other states if successful.

According to documents reviewed by the WSJ, these digital organizers get paid $2,500 a month and work 20 to 30 hours a week to do this job, and could cost the campaign millions of dollars.

The effort is being launched ahead of the Super Tuesday primaries, where crucial states such as California are in play. The program is another part of its broader social media strategy, which includes hiring “meme influencers” on Instagram.

Facebook said that political campaigns that pay influencers to post content are not subject to the social media company’s rules around political ads, sparking concerns that political campaigns will take advantage of the loophole so they cannot be held accountable.

It is unclear if messages from the campaign’s digital organizers would need to be branded as “ads” or “sponsored content” to abide by Facebook’s rules.


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