Meta to disclose more data on political ad targeting

Associated Press/Tony Avelar

Meta, the newly formed parent company of Facebook, announced Monday that it is planning to give researchers access to more information about how political advertising can be targeted on its platforms.

The new data about targeting for social issue, electoral and political ads will be available to researchers through the Facebook Open Research and Transparency project at the end of the month.

The newly available information will include what interest categories — think something like “people who like to cook” — advertisers chose for each post.

Meta will also begin including summaries of targeting information in its public accessible Ad Library some time in July.

The Ad Library will also include information on how many times each advertiser used a specific kind of targeting like location, demographics or interest.

The Ad Library was first created in 2019 to give academics, journalists and the general public a deeper look into how Facebook and Instagram are used to reach voters.

The company’s attempt at transparency has been criticized by some researchers though, who say the library tends to contain errors.

Meta has also cut off access to academics from New York University who bypassed the library to collect self-reported data from users.

Tags Ad Library Facebook Meta

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