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Facebook to grant access to targeting information about political ads

Facebook to grant access to targeting information about political ads
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Facebook will launch a new tool next week that will grant access for researchers regarding the targeting information used for social issues, electoral and political ads, the company said Monday. 

The Facebook Open Research and Transparency (FORT) platform will enable researchers who are granted access the ability to review data about ads including those that ran during the three-month period leading up to Election Day.

“By making the targeting criteria, such as location and interests, selected by advertisers running social issue, electoral or political ads available for analysis and reporting, we hope to help people better understand the practices used to reach potential voters on Facebook,” the social media giant said in a blog post

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Facebook’s decision to grant access about targeting information comes after the company sought to stop a New York University project from collecting data about its political ad-targeting. 

Facebook in October sent a letter to the NYU Ad Observatory project stating the project violates provisions in terms of service that prohibit bulk data collection from Facebook, The Wall Street Journal reported at the time. 

Starting Monday, Facebook will also move data in its 2020 election spend tracker to its election page, and the information will remain there available for downloads, the company said. The tracker offers information about how much candidates spent on ads last year.