Meta provides greater transparency to your political ad targeting data.

Meta is updating its Advertising Transparency Tool to provide public access to verified researchers and detailed information on how advertisers are targeting users with political and issue-based advertising.

Beginning in late May, targeting information on “social issues, elections or political advertisements” will be provided to meta-validated academic researchers via the Facebook Open Research and Transparency (FOT) environment.

Data is provided for individual ads, including interest categories selected by advertisers. The extension of the toolset is an extension of a pilot launched last year by Meta, which provided targeting information for political and issue advertising until the 2020 US presidential election. Data is now available for all social issues, elections and political advertisements running globally from August 2020.

Meanwhile, the meta’s ad library, which will be publicly available starting in July, will contain a summary of targeting information after political ads have been launched. It allows public access to data on specific targeting categories distributed, such as location, demographics and interests, as well as the total number and location of social issues, election and political ads running on Facebook Pages. It also reports the percentage of advertising spend used to target that category.

Jeff King, Meta’s VP of Business Integrity, said in a blog post on Facebook: , 2,000 ads on social issues, elections, or politics appeared on one page, and 40% of the money spent on these ads is for ‘people living in Pennsylvania’ or ‘people interested in politics’.”

King added: “By making our advertiser targeting criteria available for analysis and reporting on ads on social issues, elections and politics, we hope to help people better understand the practices used to reach potential voters about our technology.

“We are committed to protecting people’s privacy while providing meaningful transparency. As we update our tools, we provide external experts from academia and civil society with advice on how to best achieve these two important goals. We have saved it and will continue to do so as we continue to advance these tools.”

Facebook, Google, Twitter and TikTok recently signed a pilot led by the Advertising Standards Authority to help watchdogs enforce rules for online advertising.

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