Meta will reveal how political ads work on Facebook

Meta took to its website to announce that it will bring more transparency to ads on social, electoral and political issues.

In a new update posted on its website, Meta states that it will soon share data on the aforementioned categories of advertisements and how these advertisements are targeted to individuals. Meta writes that researchers involved in the company’s Facebook Open Research and Transparency (FORT) program will have access to data that will include “categories of interest chosen by advertisers” for each individual ad.

Notably, this isn’t the first time Meta has let some members of the public peek under the hood of its advertising, as the company made political ad data available to FORT researchers for a three-month period just before the 2020 elections. As Engadget pointed out, some researchers may not be satisfied with the data provided by Meta before the midterms of 2022, where it is likely that some attention will be paid to the impact of campaign ads on elections, in particular via platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Meta wrote:

At the end of this month, detailed information about social, election or political ad targeting will be made available to approved academic researchers through the Facebook Open Research and Transparency (FORT) environment. This data will be provided for each individual advertisement and will include information such as the categories of interest chosen by advertisers.

FORT’s research platform was created to enable qualified academic researchers to study the impact of social media on society and includes measures to protect people’s privacy. This is an extension of our pilot launched last year, which provided targeting insights for ads about social issues, elections and politics leading up to the 2020 US elections, with data now available for all ads on social, electoral and political issues running worldwide since August 2020. .

New public features are also coming.

Starting in July, our publicly available ads library will also include summary targeting information for social, election or political ads running after launch. This update will include data on the total number of social, election and political ads a page served using each type of targeting (such as location, demographics and interests) and the percentage of social ad spend. , elections and policies used to target these options.

We will also indicate whether a Page has used Custom Audiences and/or Lookalike Audiences. For example, the Ads Library might show that in the last 30 days a Page ran 2,000 ads about social, election, or political issues, and that 40% of its spend on those ads was for “people who live in Pennsylvania” or “people who are interested in politics.”

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