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Facebook officials, in their public statements and congressional testimony, have downplayed any role the social networking service may have had in electing President Donald Trump.
Yet the company's own marketing materials say its political targeting technology significantly boosted the U.S. presidential campaign of another candidate in 2016.
In a section of its website dedicated to what it calls "Success Stories," Facebook touts how effective its targeting technology was for the candidacy of Gary Johnson, the presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party.
Data shared on the page provides a strong indication that Facebook believes its political targeting tools can create positive results for an American running for national office.
According to the promotional page, Facebook's political targeting tools gave Johnson "a 6.8-point lift in favorable opinions" and "3.5 times as many donations in three months, compared to (the) entire 2012 campaign," in which Johnson also ran for president.
The Facebook post also quotes Anthony Astolfi, creative director at IVC Media & director of digital advertising of Johnson's campaign, as follows:
What's more, the page provides specific details on how a political campaign can use Facebook to boost its chances of success.
"The Gary Johnson for President camp created custom audiences based on people who visited the candidate's website, and then created lookalike audiences from those website visitors and people who purchased campaign merchandise. They also targeted Facebook's native political ideology clusters (which range from "Very Conservative" to "Very Liberal"), people interested in Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, and people likely to engage politically.
"The team used Facebook's full suite of political targeting options to ensure their ads reached the right people," the promotional page says.
That assessment echoes what Brad Parscale, the digital director for the 2016 campaign of President Donald Trump, said on a 60 Minutes broadcast last October, when he credited Facebook with playing a major role in Trump's electoral success.
Late last week, however, Facebook vice president of ads Rob Goldman said that the indictments of a group of Russian individuals and propaganda organizations indicated that their main purpose was to sow discord among Americans -- not to elect Trump.
Similarly, Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch, in his testimony before Congress last Nov. 1 and in written replies to a Senate Committee made public last month, gave no indication that the company believes it helped elect Trump.
Yet if Facebook has enough data to back a claim that it boosted the campaign of Johnson, who received just 3.27 percent of the popular vote in 2016, it may have had a similar impact on Trump's candidacy.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.