Facebook’s Ad Transparency Tools Are Not Much Effective, Research Indicates

Something changed at Facebook after the 2016 election. In the midst of the scandal that implemented Facebook in allowing manipulation of the US presidential election to take place, the social media platform found itself at a precipice. This was a scandal the likes of which Facebook had never had to deal with before, and some drastic actions needed to be taken in order to regain the public’s trust and make it so that the platform can keep itself viable as an operation in the years to come.

Unfortunately Facebook has not managed to win back the public’s trust as most surveys show that a record low number of people think that the social media platform has their best interests at heart. However, some praise Facebook for having at the very least created a transparency policy for the ads they allowed to run, something that at the very least would make it so that advertisers could not discriminate against anyone for a specific reason as well as the fact that it would create an advertising system where brands and marketing agencies would at the very least be regulated in some way, shape or form.

However, with all of that having been said and out of the way, it is very important to address the fact that Facebook’s supposed transparency tools are actually not nearly as effective as the social media platform says they are. In fact, according to researchers from New York University Tandon School of Engineering, hundreds of thousands of political ads are able to go up that should not be any measure have passed the transparency protocols. This means that there is a flaw in the system, something that is not all that surprising when you look at how often Facebook says that it is making a change only for that development to be very surface level and not all that effective at making a mark in terms of real improvements all in all.


Research conducted by the NYU has revealed that countless advertisers are able to run hundreds of ads each without revealing who was doing the purchasing for these ads. This means that pretty much anyone can run any kind of ad and there would be 0 accountability for this sort of act. Hence, Facebook really needs to own up to the fact that it has not done enough to create a better and more transparent system wherein advertising can’t be used to target anyone, spread propaganda or manipulate anyone at all. Changes need to be made, and people need to hold Facebook to account until and unless it makes these changes as well as take into account how long it takes for them to do so.



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