The father of Facebook Meta said it would begin publicly giving more information on how advertisers target people with political advertising a few months before the U.S. midterm elections.
The announcement comes after years of criticism that social media platforms conceal too much information about how companies, special interest groups and politicians use the platform to target the small pockets of people with polarizing, retail or deceptive messages.
Meta, which also owns Instagram, said in July it would start releasing detailed information about the demographics and interests of its target-targeted ads, which are posted on two major social networks. The company will also tell you how much advertisers have spent trying to target people in certain states.
“By expanding the targeting criteria of advertisers available for analysis and reporting on social, election and policy advertising, we hope to help people better understand the practices used to reach potential voters with our technology,” Jeff King said in a statement. , published on Meta’s. website.
The new details could shed more light on how politicians spread deceptive or controversial political messages among certain groups of people. For example, advocacy groups and Democrats have argued for years that misleading political advertising predominates on the Spanish-speaking Facebook.
The information will be presented in Facebook’s ad library, a public database that already shows how much companies, policies or campaigns spend on each ad they run on Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp. Now everyone can see how much a page has spent on advertising, as well as a breakdown by age, gender, and the states or countries in which the ad is displayed.
The information will be available in 242 countries if social, political or election advertising is shown, the Meta statement said.
Meta earned $ 86 billion in revenue in 2020, the last year of the big U.S. election, thanks in part to its detailed advertising targeting system. Facebook’s advertising system is so customizable that advertisers can target one user out of billions on the platform if they want.
On Monday, Meta said it would give researchers new details showing interest categories selected by advertisers as they tried to target people on the platform.