Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Facebook will allow researchers to study its election ad targeting data

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The data will be available through the Facebook Open Research and Transparency (FORT) tool, which the company created “to allow university researchers to study the impact of Facebook products on elections [with] measures to protect the privacy of individuals and ensure the security of the platform. Researchers must request STRONG access to get their hands on the data.

Facebook is also moving 2020 election expenses tracking data from its ad library to elections page February 1. Anyone can download this information to find out how much the presidential, Senate, and House candidates spent on Facebook ads. Aggregate ad spend data for all pages will still be available through the ad library.

In October, Facebook required that New York University has terminated a research project on political advertising. Thousands of volunteers signed up for an NTU Ad Observatory project to use a browser extension that sucked up data on political ads Facebook displayed to them.

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