LONGMONT, Colo. (BRAIN) — Facebook, apparently in an effort to curtail foreign influence in U.S. elections, made a Colorado bike accessory brand jump through regulatory hoops before letting it promote its “Bidon 2020” water bottles on the social network site.
“We tried to explain, ‘this is a gag based on the French term for a cycling water bottle,'” but Facebook didn’t buy it, said Brian De Groodt, owner of Dispatch Custom Cycling Components.
Instead, Facebook required De Groodt to register as a political affiliate before he could promote the bottles on Facebook or Facebook-owned Instagram. “I had to provide my passport, my home address, and say whether I was involved with any other political organizations … then they came back to me asking for more information,” he said.
Eventually he was given the go ahead to run boosted posts promoting the bottles. The authorization doesn’t extend to a British-born contractor who normally handles Dispatch’s social media. “I have to go put in and create the draft and create the ad and then (the contractor) can control the spending. I found that amusing,” he said.
De Groodt came up with the bottle idea while on a bike ride this spring. Facebook’s …read more