May 26, 2022 · less than 3 min read
Want to know more about political advertising on Facebook? Now’s your chance.
Take a picture, it’ll last longer
Social media and politics. It’s not exactly a match made in heaven. Maybe more of a forced friendship. Because like it or not, when campaigning is involved, you bet that social media has become one of the most important – and divisive – tools in the box.
After years of criticism from all sides about the polarizing nature of social platforms, and their holding of granular information on users, Meta is finally clapping back. From July, it will start releasing info about the demographics and interests of audiences who are targeted with ads that run on its two primary social networks: Facebook and Instagram.
All eyes on us
The move from Meta is primarily aimed at uncovering the strategies used by political campaigns to spread misleading or controversial political messages. The gold mine here is how political parties target certain messages at specific ethnic and gender demographics in an effort to persuade, even dissuade them, to vote a certain way. The data will be gathered on a page-specific basis, with the total amount of spend and demographic targeting by parties and campaigns open for everyone to see.
With Meta collecting an eye-watering $86 billion in revenue during 2020, when the last major US election took place, many would say it’s high time we got a little more transparency on the divisive nature of social media political campaigns. It might make us all a little wiser to the tricks of the trade.
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