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Facebook's Ad Tools Subsidize Partisanship; Campaigns May Not Even Know It.

By The Washington Post

December 11, 2019

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Northeastern University and University of Southern California computer scientists, working with the managing director of the nonprofit Upturn, found that the technologies Facebook uses to sort the relevancy of advertising may be more responsible for the polarization of U.S. politics than previously known.

The findings portray Facebook as delivering political ads based on their content and the information the social network has on its users, rather than on targeting decisions made by a political candidate or campaign.

The researchers said when they tried to get Facebook to show posts to users not already aligned with the ideology of the advertising, the cost rose, so campaigns would have to pay more if they wanted to reach that audience.

They warned Facebook is “wielding significant power over political discourse through its ad delivery algorithms without public accountability or scrutiny."

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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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