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Facebook stops paying employees commissions for political ad sales

Facebook stops paying employees commissions for political ad sales
[Photo: Flickr user Shannon Kringen]

Political ads on Facebook have been an albatross around the company’s neck since 2016 after it became known that Russia was buying up political ads to try to influence elections in the United States and elsewhere. Since then, Facebook has repeatedly revamped how political ads work on the platform, including who can buy them, and have strived to make everything surrounding the political ads more transparent.

But now the Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is taking another step in the political ads arena: It’s no longer paying sales reps commissions for political ads sold. As the WSJ reports:

Facebook’s new approach to political ad sales is designed to eliminate incentives for employees to push a more-is-better strategy with campaigns. The ad-buying portal for campaigns is now largely self-serve, with Facebook staffers available to help campaigns register to buy ads, assist if certain ads are stuck in review and provide other basic customer service. Sales employees are no longer paid based on reaching or exceeding goals related to ads purchased promoting either a candidate or politically tinged messages in the U.S. and abroad, said Katie Harbath, Facebook’s global elections public policy director.

Since commissions for political ads have been squashed, Facebook is raising the base salaries of those employees who previously were eligible for commissions for the ads. Matter of fact, Facebook’s Harbath says the company’s entire view of political ads has now changed. Harbath says Facebook “views its political-ad business as a civic responsibility rather than a revenue driver,” according to the WSJ.

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