Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, said it plans to provide outside researchers with more detailed information on how political ads are being targeted on its platform, providing insights into how politicians, campaigners and political strategists buy and use ads ahead of the midterm elections The way.
Starting Monday, academics and researchers who have signed up for a project called Facebook’s Open Research and Transparency Project will be allowed to view data on how each political or social ad is used to target populations. This information includes which interest categories (such as “dogs” or “outdoors”) have been selected to advertise to someone.
In addition, Meta said it plans to include snippets of targeting information for some ads in its publicly viewable ad library starting in July. The company created the Ad Library in 2019 so journalists, academics and others can access information and help protect elections from the misuse of digital advertising.
While Meta allows outsiders to see how its past political ads have been used, it limits the amount of information that can be seen for privacy reasons. Critics claim the company’s systems are flawed and sometimes buggy, and often demand more data.
This led to conflict.previous meta Clash with a group of NYU academics They try to get a lot of self-reported data on Facebook users to learn more about the platform.company cuts Stopped visiting the group last year, for violating its platform rules.
The company said the new data added to Facebook’s Open Research Transparency Project and Ad Library is a way to share political ad targeting information while trying to keep its user data private.
“By making advertiser targeting criteria available to analyze and report on ads on social issues, elections and politics, we hope to help people better understand the practices used to reach potential voters through our technology,” the company said in a statement. .”
With the new data, for example, researchers browsing the ad library can see that, over a one-month period, a Facebook page ran 2,000 political ads, and that 40 percent of the ad budget was targeted to “people who live in Pennsylvania” or “people who live in Pennsylvania.” People interested in politics.”
Meta says it is subject to privacy rules and regulations that dictate what types of data it can share with the outside world. Meta’s vice president of business integrity, Jeff King, said in an interview that the company has hired thousands of people over the past few years to review these privacy concerns.
“Everything we publish now goes through a privacy review,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re giving people the right amount of data, but we’re doing that while still being privacy-conscious.”
The new political advertising data will cover the period from August 2020, three months before the last US presidential election, to the present.