Trump's director of digital strategy, Brad Parscale, explained that he called on pro-Trump employees at Facebook to help the Trump campaign maximize its impact on the social networking platform.
According to Bloomberg, Parscale explained the differences in their approach to Facebook and Twitter to 60 Minutes, saying, "Twitter is how [Trump] talked to the people, Facebook was going to be how he won." To ensure that they went about using Facebook to its maximum potential, Parscale brought Facebook employees into his office on a regular basis to offer guidance. But they weren't just any old employees — he said that he only "wanted people who supported Donald Trump" to help them in the office.
In response to this, a spokesperson from Facebook told Bloomberg that Parscale was offered the same help as any other major entity who pays for ads on the platform. Another insider source at Facebook also took issue with how Parscale called these employees "embeds," implying that they were embedded and dedicated only to this particular account. That insider said that these "embeds" actually only had the campaign as one of a few accounts and clients. The key difference, though, according to Parscale, is that he believes the Hillary Clinton campaign didn't use "embeds" and didn't leverage the platform in the same way.
Of course, Facebook's also at the center of plenty of scandals these days for its role as a leverage point regarding the 2016 election. The investigation into Russia's use of the platform continues, with Facebook having submitted information on 3,000 or so ads that they suspect were paid for by Russian interests. On top of that, Facebook has taken moves as of late to implement many, many more human editors and overseers to act as overwatch on political and religious ads. In a livestream from a few weeks ago, CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised to hire 250 people who will beef up the ad review team, a marked distancing from Facebook's stance regarding algorithm-based filtering. That number later ballooned to 1,000 people, according to TechCrunch.
On that front, Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos has criticized journalists and the media for their supposed misunderstanding of how algorithms are utilized and perceived at Facebook. In a tweet, he wrote:
Nobody of substance at the big companies thinks of algorithms as neutral. Nobody is not aware of the risks.— Alex Stamos (@alexstamos) October 7, 2017
The thing is, the media isn't arguing that Facebook "thinks of algorithms as neutral," but rather that they choose to lean on those tech-based solutions despite being shown their potential for being exploited by abusers. In TechCrunch's report on Stamos' tweets, they point out that criticism regarding Facebook has mostly centered on how a lot of the moves they're making now to prevent election interference feel like they're too little, too late.
Though it's a different product, Facebook's News Feed is an example of a feature that once had human editor/curator oversight, and was exploited only after that team was replaced by an algorithm. As it goes, after Gizmodo shared a story from former contractors who allegedly "suppressed Conservative news sites," the human curators were fired, only to be replaced by an algorithm that misfired on a fake news story about Megyn Kelly only three days after it was placed in charge of controlling the feed.
This work to introduce human oversight and integrate it with those tech-based solutions should probably have been considered a long time ago, way before the 2016 election.