Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc will share more data on targeting choices made by advertisers running political and social-issue ads in its public ad database.
Meta said it would also include detailed targeting information for these individual ads in its “Facebook Open Research and Transparency” database used by academic researchers, in an expansion of a pilot launched last year.
The social media giant has faced pressure in recent years to provide transparency around targeted advertising on its platforms, particularly around elections. In 2018, it launched a public ad library, though some researchers criticized it for glitches and a lack of detailed targeting data.
Meta said the ad library will soon show a summary of targeting information for social issue, electoral or political ads run by a page.
“For example, the Ad Library could show that over the last 30 days, a Page ran 1,000 ads about social issues, elections or politics, and that 40% of their spend on these ads was targeted to ‘people who live in Dhaka’ or ‘people who are interested in politics’,” Meta said.
Meta said the additional information in the ad library will be added in July. It said the data for vetted researchers will be available at the end of May and will show information since August 2020.
The company has run various programs with external researchers as part of its transparency efforts. Last year, it said a technical error meant flawed data had been provided to academics in its “Social Science One” project.