Will share more political, social-issue ads targeting data in public databases, says Meta

Facebook’s owner Meta Platform will share more data on the targeting choices made by advertisers running political and social-issue ads in its public advertising database, it said on Monday.

meta said it would also include detailed targeting information for these personalized ads in a “Facebook Open Research and Transparency” database used by academic researchers in an expansion to a pilot it launched last year.

“Instead of analyzing how the ad was delivered FacebookIt’s really going and looking at an advertiser strategy to see what they were trying to do,” Jeff King, Meta’s vice president of business integrity, said in a phone interview.

The social media giant has faced pressure in recent years to provide transparency around targeted advertising on its platforms, especially around elections. In 2018, it launched a public advertising library, although some researchers criticized it for its flaws and lack of detailed targeting data.

Meta said the ad library will soon show a summary of information targeted to social issue, election or political ads run by a single page.

“For example, the Ad Library might show that in the past 30 days, a Page ran 2,000 ads about social issues, elections or politics, and 40 percent of their spend on these ads targeted ‘people living in Pennsylvania. or ‘people who are interested in politics,'” Meta said in a blog post.

Meta said additional information will be added to the ad library in July. It said the data for the revised researchers would be available in late May and would show information from August 2020.

The company has run various programs with external researchers as part of its transparency efforts. Last year, it said a technical error meant academics had been provided with flawed data in a “social science one” project.

In 2021, the company said it had disabled the accounts of a group of New York University researchers studying political ads on its platform due to user privacy concerns.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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