Did Facebook Favor Obama?

By Jennifer Parker

Jun 6, 2007 4:30pm

ABC News’ Jennifer Parker Reports: The campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., appears to have been given a small one-up in the new world of online politics. Two weeks ago, Facebook.com, the popular social networking site, launched a new application to increase its membership and traffic.

The Obama campaign hit the ground running, offering their supporters a feed of video and news that they can link to their own profile pages. Thousands of Obama supporters are now using the campaign advertising feature.

But other ’08 campaigns are crying foul. They suggest the Obama campaign was tipped off about the new platform by Facebook co-founder, Chris Hughes, who is now working with the Obama campaign.

"It does seem that they’ve gotten a head start that every other campaign didn’t get presumably because of Mr. Hughes," said the online communications director of a leading ’08 Republican campaign who didn’t want to be named.

Hughes, 23, joined the Obama campaign is a part of a team trying to figure out how to get the 65,000 supporters who have registered with the official Obama website more involved in the campaign. Hughes has taken a leave from Facebook but has retained his ownership stake and stock options.

"No other campaign was given a heads up about the Facebook platform, at all," said the GOP e-director, saying it would take any campaign a few weeks to figure out how to customize the new application.

"I’m not going to cry about it," he said, "but it is something that we are interested in and it looks like they got a head start."

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