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Before the Georgia election, Democrats spent four times as much as Republicans on Facebook

The Democratic advertisers in the top 10 spent nearly $2.8 million on Facebook ads in the week leading up to the election.

Jon Ossoff

Jon Ossoff was one of the Senate candidates benefitting from a huge Democratic ad push on Facebook.

Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Seven of the the top 10 spenders on political Facebook ads in the week leading up to Georgia's election supported Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Senator-elect Reverend Raphael Warnock. Just three supported their Republican opponents, Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

The Democratic advertisers in the top 10, including the Warnock and Ossoff campaigns as well as groups like the AFL-CIO's Working America and Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight, spent nearly $2.8 million on Facebook ads in the seven days leading up to the election. That's compared to nearly $682,000 spent by the top three Republican advertisers: The Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Georgia United Victory, a conservative PAC. The difference was equally stark among the top ten political advertisers during the 30 days leading up to to the election, when Democrats spent $5.3 million on Facebook ads to Republicans' $1.3 million. Warnock's campaign alone spent nearly $1.7 million during that period.

The dramatic spending gap is notable, particularly given Democratic concerns early on that Facebook's ban on political ads after Election Day in November was giving Republican incumbents an advantage in Georgia. In December, largely due to that feedback, Facebook began allowing political ads to be targeted to Georgia, and the money quickly flooded in, particularly from the left.


Yes, GameStop is a content moderation issue for Reddit

The same tools that can be used to build mass movements can be used by bad actors to manipulate the masses later on. Consider Reddit warned.

WallStreetBets' behavior may not be illegal. But that doesn't mean it's not a problem for Reddit.

Image: Omar Marques/Getty Images

The Redditors who are driving up the cost of GameStop stock just to pwn the hedge funds that bet on its demise may not be breaking the law. But this show of force by the subreddit r/WallStreetBets still represents a new and uncharted front in the evolution of content moderation on social media platforms.

In a statement to Protocol, a Reddit spokesperson said the company's site-wide policies "prohibit posting illegal content or soliciting or facilitating illegal transactions. We will review and cooperate with valid law enforcement investigations or actions as needed."

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Issie Lapowsky
Issie Lapowsky (@issielapowsky) is a senior reporter at Protocol, covering the intersection of technology, politics, and national affairs. Previously, she was a senior writer at Wired, where she covered the 2016 election and the Facebook beat in its aftermath. Prior to that, Issie worked as a staff writer for Inc. magazine, writing about small business and entrepreneurship. She has also worked as an on-air contributor for CBS News and taught a graduate-level course at New York University’s Center for Publishing on how tech giants have affected publishing. Email Issie.
Protocol | China

More women are joining China's tech elite, but 'Wolf Culture' isn't going away

It turns out getting rid of misogyny in Chinese tech isn't just a numbers game.

Chinese tech companies that claim to value female empowerment may act differently behind closed doors.

Photo: Qilai Shen/Getty Images

A woman we'll call Fan had heard about the men of Alibaba before she joined its high-profile affiliate about three years ago. Some of them were "greasy," she said, to use a Chinese term often describing middle-aged men with poor boundaries. Fan tells Protocol that lewd conversations were omnipresent at team meetings and private events, and even women would feel compelled to crack off-color jokes in front of the men. Some male supervisors treated younger female colleagues like personal assistants.

Within six months, despite the cachet the lucrative job carried, Fan wanted to quit.

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Shen Lu

Shen Lu is a Reporter with Protocol | China. She has spent six years covering China from inside and outside its borders. Previously, she was a fellow at Asia Society's ChinaFile and a Beijing-based producer for CNN. Her writing has appeared in Foreign Policy, The New York Times and POLITICO, among other publications. Shen Lu is a founding member of Chinese Storytellers, a community serving and elevating Chinese professionals in the global media industry.

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