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How Russian Facebook ads divided and targeted US voters before the 2016 election • WIRED
Issie Lapowsky:
<p> In the course of her six-week study in 2016, [professor of journalism at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mie] Kim collected mounds of evidence about how the IRA and other suspicious groups sought to divide and target the US electorate in the days leading up to the election. Now, Kim is detailing those findings in a <a href="">peer-reviewed paper</a> published in the journal Political Communication. The researchers couldn't find any trace, in federal records or online, of half of the 228 groups it tracked that purchased Facebook ads about controversial political issues in that six-week stretch. Of those so-called "suspicious" advertisers, one in six turned out to be associated with the Internet Research Agency, according to the list of accounts Facebook eventually provided to Congress…

…Over the last few months, Kim says she's spent lots of weekends poring over these ads. "It was pretty depressing," she says. One ad shared by multiple suspicious groups read: "Veterans before illegals. 300,000 Veterans died waiting to be seen by the VA. Cost of healthcare for illegals 1.1 billion per year."

…The second part of Kim's research focused on who exactly these unregulated ads—including both standard dark money ads and Russian ads—targeted. She found that voters in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin, all states with tight races, were the most targeted. Specifically, voters in Wisconsin were targeted with gun ads about 72 percent more often than the national average. She also found that white voters received 87 percent of all immigration ads.

It makes sense that swing states would be more heavily targeted overall leading up to an election. And Kim didn't analyze the Russians trolls' targets independently from the other unregulated ads, given the small sample size of 19 groups.</p>

Facebook somehow didn't keep this data; fortunately Kim did.
facebook  ads  2016  election 
3 days ago by charlesarthur
"Facebook will implement a part of their transparency plan"
The Transparent Referendum Initiative writes:
Big News - Facebook will implement a part of their transparency plan - the ability to see the ads that a page has paid for- IN IRELAND FROM 25th. A positive first step. This will help us build out our database, as we wait for a platform fed offline list to be implemented. #8thRef
facebook  ads  transparency  ireland  repealthe8th  referenda  voting 
3 days ago by jm
How Russian Facebook Ads Divided and Targeted US Voters Before the 2016 Election | WIRED
Kim's research showed that in fact, these unregulated ads made up the majority of issue-based ads on Facebook during the course of her study.
facebook  ads  fakenews  trump  trolls  russia 
4 days ago by yorksranter
“People Believe Are Becoming More ... users feel bombarded by too many
ads  Intrusive  from twitter
5 days ago by phil_hendrix
SHOCK: Communicating with Computational Messages and Automatic Private Profiles
A computationally enhanced message contains some embedded programmatic components that are interpreted and executed automatically upon receipt. Unlike ordinary text email or instant messages, they make possible a number of useful applications. In this paper, we describe a general and flexible messaging system called SHOCK that extends the functionality of prior computational email systems by allowing XML-encoded SHOCK messages to interact with an automatically created profile of a user. These profiles consist of information about the most common tasks users perform, such as their Web browsing behavior, their conventional email usage, etc. Since users are sensitive about such data, the system is designed with privacy as a central design goal, and employs a distributed peer-to-peer architecture to achieve it. The system is largely implemented with commodity Web technologies and provides both a Web interface as well as one that is tightly integrated with users ordinary email clients. With SHOCK, users can send highly targeted messages without violating others privacy, and engage in structured conversation appropriate to the context without disrupting their existing work practices. We describe our implementation in detail, the most useful novel applications of the system, and our experiences with the system in a pilot field test.
SHOCK  privacy  p2p  polling  matching  anonymity  profiling  ads 
6 days ago by gojomo

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