Just months before the US midterm elections, Facebook parent Meta said that it will begin disclosing more information about how marketers target people with political ads. Years of criticism have been levelled against social media companies for withholding too much information on how initiatives, special interest groups, and politicians utilise the platforms to target small groups of people with polarising, divisive, or deceptive messages.

Meta, which also owns Instagram, has announced that it will begin disclosing information about the characteristics and preferences of people targeted by ads on its two core social networks in July. The company will also reveal how much money advertising is spent to target consumers in specific states.

Where will the revelation be made?

The data will be displayed in the Facebook ad library, a public database that currently displays how much money businesses, governments, and campaigns spend on each ad they run on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Anyone may currently view how much a page has invested running an ad, as well as a summary of the ages, genders, and states or countries in which the ad is displayed.

When a social issue, political, or election ad is run, the data will be available in 242 nations, according to Meta. Thanks to its detailed ad targeting system, Meta made $86 billion in income in 2020, the last big U.S. election year. Advertisers may target a single individual out of billions on Facebook because its ad system is so adjustable.

“By making advertiser targeting criteria available for analysis and reporting on ads run about social issues, elections and politics, we hope to help people better understand the practices used to reach potential voters on our technologies,” said Jeff King. In a statement released Monday, Meta also said it will supply academics with fresh information about the interest categories advertisers chose when trying to target consumers on the platform.

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