Find out who targets you with digital advertising
Politicians have always used misleading ads and campaign tricks to win votes. But because Big Tech enables campaigns to secretly launch thousands of ads at once, today’s voters are seeing ads that are more divisive and misleading than ever before.
Despite this, there’s still little systematic data on how individuals are targeted by campaigns.
We believe that these platforms have too much power over our civic conversations; that privately targeted political ads increase polarization and mistrust and that neither campaigns nor Big Tech will behave more responsibly without public pressure and transparency.
That’s why we run Who Targets Me – a free browser extension that lets you contribute to a crowdsourced library of political ads.
The browser extension gives you:
- A record of all the political ads you're targeted with and why you see them
- Data about which parties and groups are targeting you most
- Data about which parties and groups are targeting your district most heavily
- Data about how many political ads there are vs. the total number of ads running at any given time
By tracking how campaigns are using Big Tech to privately target voters, we can contribute to reform of how politics is done, protect a fair democratic process and elections, and start to repair our national conversation.
Who Targets Me launched in the UK in 2017 and has since been run in over 20 countries around the world.
Our work has been covered by the BBC, New York Times, CNN and many others.
*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 icon 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.