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The Prop 37 Phenomenon on Facebook

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our California News page.

Over the past two weeks, I've been involved in a Facebook ad campaign whose results are astonishing.  It's a political campaign supporting California's Proposition 37 (Label Genetically Engineered Foods).

Our Facebook sales rep was ecstatic when she first saw the numbers. She'd never seen anything like it in her career. But before I share the details, let me explain why I'm passionate about this.

Level Playing Field

Since 1995, the web has been heralded as the great leveler. When I was 23, I joined the founding team of LinkExchange, a startup trying to level the playing field for websites that wanted traffic. (LinkExchange, the web's first ad network, coined the acronym "CTR" for Click-Through Ratio - more on that in a bit). Some years after LinkExchange was acquired, I ran, a startup trying to level the playing field for indie bands.

Throughout my career, I've been drawn by the web's potential to help the little guy and democratize industries. Today AirBnB is disrupting hospitality; 99Designs the design business; Uber the taxi and limousine business; the list goes on.

The Internet is also democratizing democracy.

Fifteen years ago, political fundraisers were lavish events for the wealthy.  Then we saw the rise of $25 donations via the web. Now, as social media replace traditional media, the influence of ordinary people may replace the influence of money. Facebook, including a new feature introduced last week, may change the fate of the Prop 37 vote on Nov 6, and with it herald a new face of politics in America.