Meta is going to reveal how political advertisements on Facebook work

Meta has announced that it will soon be revealing how Facebook's political and 'social issue' advertisements are targeted.

@JakConnorTT
Published Tue, May 24 2022 1:03 AM CDT   |   Updated Mon, Jun 13 2022 1:19 PM CDT

Meta has taken to its website to announce that it will be bringing more transparency to social issue, electoral and political ads.

Meta is going to reveal how political advertisements on Facebook work 01 | TweakTown.com

In a new update posted to its website, Meta states that it will soon be sharing data on the aforementioned advertisement categories and how those ads are targeted to individuals. Meta writes that researchers who are involved in the company's Facebook Open Research and Transparency (FORT) program will be given access to data that will include "interest categories chosen by advertisers" for each individual ad.

Notably, this isn't the first time Meta has let select members of the public look 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 election. As pointed out by Engadget, some researchers may not be happy with the data provided to them by Meta ahead of the 2022 midterms, where it's likely that there will be some attention brought to how pollical advertisements impact elections, especially through platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Meta wrote:

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

FORT's Researcher Platform was created to enable qualified academic researchers to study social media's impact on society and includes measures to protect people's privacy. This is an expansion of our pilot launched last year, which provided targeting information for ads about social issues, elections and politics leading up to the 2020 US election, with data now available for all social issue, electoral and political ads run globally since August 2020.

New public features are also coming.

Coming in July, our publicly available Ad Library will also include a summary of targeting information for social issue, electoral or political ads run after launch. This update will include data on the total number of social issue, electoral and political ads a Page ran using each type of targeting (such as location, demographics and interests) and the percentage of social issue, electoral and political ad spend used to target those options.

We'll also include whether a Page used Custom Audiences and/or lookalike audiences. For example, the Ad Library could show that over the last 30 days, a Page ran 2,000 ads about social issues, elections or politics, and that 40% of their spend on these ads was targeted to "people who live in Pennsylvania" or "people who are interested in politics."

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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