Installing and using the Who Targets Me browser extension

Quick start

Read on for lots more information, but if you want to get going right away, click one of the buttons below to install the extension, then follow the on-screen instructions to set it up:

This guide explains:

What does the extension do?

The free Who Targets Me browser extension ‘sees’ the ads you see on Facebook (with more services to come later in 2024). It then matches them against lists of political advertisers we maintain for more than 50 countries.

The extension provides you with analysis of the ads you saw, helping you understand who is targeting you, and the wider context of that targeting.

The extension sees nothing but the ads you’re being targeted with. It captures no other personal information or anything about your Facebook account.

What do you need to use it?

You will need:

  • A Facebook account that you use on a desktop computer
  • The Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge browsers

Note: The extension works alongside most ad blockers. You do not need to disable your ad blocker (if you have chosen to use one).

How do I set it up?

To install the extension, visit the browser extension store for:

Note: We used to offer an Apple Safari version of the extension, but we have since discontinued it and it is no longer available or supported.

Once you have installed the extension in your browser, click the Who Targets Me icon in your browser toolbar. You will be redirected to where you can choose the language you want the extension to display in and set up an optional profile by adding your age, gender, location (which we approximate to a constituency or general area) and where you sit on the left/right political spectrum.

Finally, depending on the country you live in, you may have the opportunity to opt into an academic study with one of our university partners. Each study will have its own approach, terms and conditions, so please read the relevant information to make sure you’re happy to participate before agreeing to take part.

What do I do once the extension is installed and set up?

The extension sees the ads you do, so just use Facebook as normal. You don’t have to do anything else.

Once you start seeing political ads, you can click the Who Targets Me extension icon in your browser toolbar, and you’ll be taken to (or you can just go there directly, or bookmark it).

If you don’t see any political ads for now, don’t worry – this is quite common.

Some reasons for this include:

  • For most countries, political advertising is rare outside of election campaigns. We find that ads often only appear late in the electoral cycle, as campaigning becomes more intense.
  • You live somewhere not very electorally competitive. If your area solidly supports one party or candidate, it’s likely they will not run many ads there, as there are fewer persuadable voters to reach.
  • You have a strong political affiliation. Parties have a model of who they need to win over. If you already fit the profile of someone committed to a particular way of voting, other parties are less likely to try and reach you with ads.
  • You don’t use Facebook much. The extension can only see the ads you see, so if you’re not using Facebook, it won’t see any ads.
  • You saw an ad from an advertiser we aren’t currently tracking. If you think it was definitely political and it should have been picked up by the extension, please contact us and let us know.
  • You are in a country we don’t currently maintain data for. The full list of countries we are tracking is the same as the ones we provide spending data for. (If you want to help us get data together for your country, please get in touch).

If you think there’s a technical problem, or another reason why the extension isn’t working for you, please let us know.

What will the results look like?

Who Targets Me’s browser extension breaks down your results across a number of panels, each of which gives you a different perspective on the political ads you’ve seen.

1. A summary of your results

2. The reasons you’re being targeted

3. A bar chart, showing you the parties/groups targeting you

4. How groups are targeting other Who Targets Me users in the constituency or state where you live (UK and US only)

5. The proportion of political vs. non-political ads in your country over the last few months

During election periods, this can rise to 20% or more.

6. A full list of all of the ads you were targeted with in the last three months

This table shows you the advertiser, the ad content and the targeting parameters used to reach you. It also includes a link to view the ad in the Meta political ad library.

You can also download the data as a .csv file if you wish to analyse or query it further. This data is exactly the same as the data which you are sharing for research purposes.

7. Privacy controls and user key

In the footer of the results page are links to user controls where you can:

  • Delete any data associated with the extension.
  • Learn how to remove the extension.
  • Update your profile (for example if you change country or want to view your results in another language)
  • See your unique user key. This is the anonymous identifier we use to link your ads together and display your data back to you.