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Facebook allows U.S. political candidates to run sponsored content

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Friday it was allowing U.S.-based political candidates to run branded content on its social networking platforms, but the content would not be cataloged in its advertising library.

Political campaigns and groups can now use the social media company’s branded content tool, which allows influencers to more clearly tag in an official sub-header that the post is a paid partnership.

The change came after U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg this week paid popular meme accounts on Facebook-owned Instagram to post content about the billionaire former New York mayor.

The strategy of paying social media influencers to spread political messages or make content is gathering momentum ahead of the 2020 race, but rules around the practice have been hazy.

“After hearing from multiple campaigns, we agree that there’s a place for branded content in political discussion on our platforms,” a Facebook spokesman said in a statement.

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