Find out who targets you with digital advertising
Politicians have always used misleading ads and campaign tricks to win votes. But because of how Big Tech enables campaigns to secretly launch thousands of ads at once, today’s voters are seeing more ads that are more divisive and more misleading than ever before.
By November, the average American will have been targeted with 150 political ads on Facebook – yet there’s still no systematic data on how people are targeted by campaigns in order to hold them or the tech platforms who enable them, accountable for the way they reach voters online or what they say to them.
We believe that these platforms have too much power over our civic conversations; that privately targeted political ads increase polarization and mistrust within local constituencies; and that neither campaigns nor Big Tech will behave more responsibly without public pressure and transparency.
That’s why we launched Who Targets Me – a free browser extension that lets you contribute to a crowdsourced library of political ads. You can compare the ads that you see to those that your neighbors and friends are seeing. And you can hold your local candidates accountable, by signing up for notifications to track their spending and ad buys.
By tracking how campaigns are using Big Tech to privately target voters, we can reform how politics is done in our country, protect a fair democratic process, and start to repair our national conversation.
We launched the project in the UK in 2017 and have since run it in over 20 countries around the world. Our work has been covered by the BBC, New York Times, CNN and many others.
Who Targets Me is currently available in ENGLISH, SPANISH, GERMAN, ITALIAN, HUNGARIAN, RUSSIAN, LATVIAN, PORTUGUESE, SWEDISH, FINNISH, FRENCH, DUTCH, CROATIAN, UKRAINIAN, HEBREW, BULGARIAN, CZECH, ESTONIAN, GREEK, MACEDONIAN, POLISH, ROMANIAN, SLOVAKIAN, SLOVENIAN and MALTESE.
*How to use Who Targets Me*
- Install the browser extension
- Create an anonymous profile (your age, location, gender and political leaning)
- Decide whether to participate in one of our research partnerships
- Use Facebook and other social media platforms as usual
- Click the plugin from time to time to see who is trying to influence your views with political ads
What the plugin captures:
- Facebook ads, their content and targeting
What the plugin doesn't capture:
- Any other type of post
- Any personal information or information about your Facebook account
You can choose to stop participating in the project at any time and, should you wish to, delete the ads you've contributed to the project.