Bloomberg paying hundreds of people to promote him on social media, report says

The effort could cost millions of dollars, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Mike Bloomberg delivers remarks during a campaign rally on Feb. 12,  in Nashville.

The Bloomberg campaign effort is focused on California, for now. 

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg's presidential campaign is reportedly hiring hundreds of people in California to post on their personal social media accounts and send text messages to contacts in support of the Democratic presidential candidate. More than 500 deputy field organizers will get paid $2,500 a month to promote Bloomberg in weekly text messages and daily social media posts, according to a report Wednesday from The Wall Street Journal. 

The effort, which could cost the campaign millions of dollars, is focused on California's primary on March 3, but could expand nationwide, according to the Journal.

The Bloomberg campaign says deputy field organizers are sharing their own content, not ads, and that there are no requirements around how frequently they post to social media accounts.

"We are meeting voters everywhere on any platform that they consume their news," said campaign spokeswoman Sabrina Singh. "One of the most effective ways of reaching voters is by activating their friends and network to encourage them to support Mike for president."

Earlier this month, Bloomberg paid Instagram meme-makers to promote his campaign to millions of followers. Facebook said that political campaigns that pay influencers to post content aren't subject to the social network's rules around political ads, sparking concerns that politicians will exploit the loophole to skirt accountability.  The Instagram meme accounts mention that these political posts were paid by Bloomberg but don't show up in Facebook's ad library. 

It's unclear if messages from the campaign's digital organizers would need to be labeled as ads or sponsored content under Facebook's rules, according to the Journal. 

Watch this: YouTube cracks down on voter misinformation ahead of 2020 election season

Originally published Feb. 19, 9:25 a.m. PT.
Update, 10:37 a.m.: Adds comment from Bloomberg campaign.