Facebook ad archive outs top spending political advertisers in the US

Elena Summers
October 28, 2018

Facebook Inc. said the top spender on political ads on its sites since May was U.S. Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke, who is challenging Republican Ted Cruz in Texas.

While the sums involved may seem large Facebook's ad revenue as a whole stands at $50bn a year, dwarfing the political contributions. Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke has topped $100 million, making it the most expensive Senate race in US history.

In a blog post, Facebook product manager, Arti Kulkarni said, "We're introducing the Ad Archive Report for ads in the United States related to politics and issues of national importance".

Still, below the campaign chart in fine print is a note that clarifies that the actual top political spender - adding up to more than the spending of the first two combined - is Facebook itself.

But that claim was contradicted when a Times reporter dug into who sponsored anonymous ads that called Jennifer Wexton, the Democratic candidate for Virginia's 10th District, an "evil socialist" and depicted her alongside Nazi soldiers. The newly-released data shows that Dollars 256.4 million was spent on political ads since May.


The Texas secretary of state's office said Friday that issues have been reported with Hart eSlate voting machines, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News.

Fox News has ranked the Texas Senate race as "likely Republican". He was followed by President Donald Trump's political action committee, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, which spent $3.14 million.

Despite O'Rourke's deep pockets, Sen. The company spent $12.5 on ads related to politics and issues of national importance.

Little data is typically published on specific companies' online ad spending, but Facebook's increased transparency about political activity on its service has opened a trove of details ahead of elections on November 6.

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