ADAM CURRY: All right two parter of this then we’re done, and this comes down to our questioning of the effectiveness of the ad buy that the Internet Research Agency did and how they were able to change the minds of millions of Americans to vote for Donald Trump, as well as . .
JOHN C. DVORAK: For $100,000.
ADAM CURRY: Yeah. Well, $100,000 turns out that wasn’t really the budget. And, and you know, we also have, we’ve had all kinds of questions about the effectiveness of the platform. I think if you can spend less, the story is $100,000, and you can make someone president, which is what the accusation is. And we have what, 12 indictments of Internet Research Agency dudes based upon this hundred thousand dollar collusion campaign or influence campaign. So I think a Parscale does a good job of explaining it.
INTERVIEWER: So as far as I know, Facebook has not released all of the repository of advertising that happened on their platform during 2016, whether it was by the Russians or the Trump campaign or any other actors who were. . .
PARSCALE: Well the Trump campaign’s not an actor. The Trump campaign is the official. . .
INTERVIEWER: But dark money groups or anyone else. .
PARSCALE: If you’re talking about super PACs and C-4s and all those things, that’s part of the current political system. The only thing that has been accusatory is what these actors did from this Internet Research Company or whatever is the only one I know about. I’m the only one I’ve read about and what I’ve read about is during the last couple months of the campaign, there was only a fraction of money spent. Well less than 100,000. Somewhere down on your $10,000 range there’s been different accounts of how much that is. Some $6,000, $680,000, but the fraction that probably was spent on Facebook was probably close to $500 to $600 million by United States by legitimate organizations. And to try to say that that $500 or $600 million, that $6,000 somehow influenced $600 million is the biggest piece of just Malarkey I’ve ever heard.
INTERVIEWER: Even though Facebook is actually a very effective targeting tool.
PARSCALE: Yeah, they can’t say that though because they would say that’s like saying a restaurant goes to put $5,000 from some restaurant in Wichita, Kansas puts $5,000 and all of the world and the next day is going to know how great that restaurant is from $5,000. That advertising just doesn’t happen. It’s not possible. I don’t understand it. And if someone shows you the proof that somehow had influenced somebody, I haven’t seen it, but I think the media wants you to believe it because they want to believe that, that somehow none of this is legit, that these guys somehow faked everybody out for $6,000. And I think it’s a big joke. I mean you can’t even. I can barely fly from here to Hawaii and back for $6,000. I’m not going to change the entire American electorate for it.
ADAM CURRY: So apparently the last six weeks, which is really when he spent $90 million dollars on shock and awe in the right places, but that was, that’s what he says, just it was just a lot to the people we were interested in and they re-shared it versus the $6,000. So he’s, he questions the validity of that as an explanation as to why Facebook won’t actually set the record straight.
INTERVIEWER: Do you think that Facebook bears any responsibility for the fact that after using these powerful tools to mess with the American electorate.
PARSCALE: Could they maybe question why a Russian company with Russian IP addresses are buying ads on a platform? It sounds kinda suspicious to me also, um, you know, maybe it was just a little amount of money they spent that it just went under the radar $6,000 or whatever it is the last six weeks or whatever, eight weeks. I mean I was spending that per half-second or millisecond probably. So if you take that over six weeks, I mean they were spending point zero, zero, zero, zero one cents per second. So I mean, I could get how maybe it would fly under the radar. I think they’ll do a better job now of probably verifying initial ad vendors and so this problem doesn’t go away, but I would imagine it’s more to do with the small amount of money they spent. If they would’ve came and spent $100,000,000 and they said they were going to or they even started to spend that kind of money, I would imagine. I didn’t want to be. Facebook’s biggest mistakes was this. They were in a conflict of marketing versus ethics. Studies actually explained to everybody that $6,000 actually really wasn’t doing much. Also makes you sound like your platform is not that powerful to do something for cheap. So if you want to get rid of every small vendor using your platform in America, go on TV and say well that actually isn’t very much. So Facebook was caught in a catch 22 to say Russia couldn’t do a lot with that little bit of money or whoever these actors were. It also says that all the small businesses across America, you can’t actually do something effective for that little amount of money. So they were kind of caught in a little paradox. What they’ve almost said is $100,000 and $100 million is the same thing, you know? Well, even $100, $6,000 prize, but they only spent like less than $10,000 in the time that I spent $100 million.
ADAM CURRY: Uh-oh. There you go. I don’t know if that made it into the final piece because I’ve not seen the edited show. Somehow I would think they would, but maybe they’re too stupid.
JOHN C. DVORAK: I doubt it.
ADAM CURRY: Because that’s the money shot.
JOHN C. DVORAK: If I was doing the interviewing. It has to be that woman who was behind him have to be part of the production package, and they’re the ones that are going to make put that together with this guy and they’re going to, and they’re going to clip maybe five minutes from all that.
ADAM CURRY: If that, if that.
JOHN C. DVORAK: Well Frontline does clip as much as five minutes, but they don’t do it. They don’t play it all at once.
ADAM CURRY: Yeah, but the whole, the whole piece and it’s in the show notes. NAshownotes.com is well worth watching because it goes. There’s a lot of detail about how they use Facebook.
JOHN C. DVORAK: If anybody’s an amateur marketing guy, we have a number of producers who have to do that sort of thing. Sales, sales and marketing. I’d listened to this. It sounds like a revealing interview. The guy was very face forward with everything. He wasn’t trying to off a few skate anymore. Tricks or secrets.
ADAM CURRY: And there was, there was other interesting stuff which I didn’t clip, but you know, the accusation which came from a Bloomberg report that they have targeted zip code with African African Americans with all kinds of terrifying things about Hillary Clinton. And his comeback is, do you think I’m stupid? No one targets by zip code anymore. We look at a zip code and see the people there when we have all their interests, we just, we don’t see skin color, we don’t give a crap. We just go look at ‘are they likely Trump voters’? That’s it.
JOHN C. DVORAK: Zip codes is like two generations old versions of market.
ADAM CURRY: Exactly. Demographic. Nobody does that anymore. Yeah, but they were dead serious about it and the interview is the head shaker.
JOHN C. DVORAK: Well, if this was done by a commercial operation like CBS or ABC or NBC, they would have people doing the interview that looks new, that were a little more up to date, and by up to date, I mean 50 years up to date. This guy is thinking that 50 years ago they used to do stuff like that. But no.
ADAM CURRY: What I realized though is, you know the guys mic is sounds horrible. The interviewer, because he’ll never be on screen. This is the way Frontline does it is they, they just hold it.
JOHN C. DVORAK: Almost everybody does that now.
ADAM CURRY: Yeah. You got the voiceover, but if they’re going to have to pull any clips from this. Yeah, they’re gonna have to do some fancy footwork on the voiceover to me to make it fit any narrative because clearly Facebook. Yeah, it works like all other media, the more you buy, the more you repeat, the more it works.
JOHN C. DVORAK: Yeah. Well they do have the targeting that the other guys don’t have.
ADAM CURRY: Yeah, exactly. That’s the, that’s the thing. They’ve got the targeting. It’s just, it’s basically faster. You can get the same targeting from, from other networks, but you know, you know from television, from print, you can get some of that.
JOHN C. DVORAK: Some.
ADAM CURRY: Yeah. Anyway, so there you go.