On the proposed “Social Media Disclosure and Transparency of Advertisements (DATA) Act” (and how it could be better)
Oversight boards for everything
There’s new legislation being proposed in the US by Congresswoman Lori Trahan to increase advertising transparency. It has lots of good things in it, including: Specific definitions of the data that should be disclosed, including targeting and engagement Development of common standards across platforms for disclosure Oversight of how it’s implemented If we ever wrote […]
How to stop future Trumps before you need to deplatform them
How do you break a big problem – oversight of the big social media platforms – into a series of smaller, more manageable ones?
Ad transparency standards – a technical proposal
After the events of the last week in the US, many people are demanding the “regulation” of social media.
But amid that clamour… what is actually to be done?
A Goldilocks Zone for political ads
We really need a common standard for ad transparency. Here’s our proposal.
How to take a “gold standard” approach to political advertising transparency and policy.
Around many stars there is a so-called “goldilocks zone” where the temperature is just right for a planet to enjoy liquid water, and (perhaps) to support life. We think political advertising on social media also has a goldilocks zone. If you allow too many ads, you give unscrupulous campaigns the ability to microtarget voters, tell […]
Covering technology in elections like it’s the weather
What needs to happen next.
What are we to do about microtargeting?
Writing about new things is exciting, but it’s not always where the action is.
Why political Facebook ads are the most interesting political ads ever
What actually is political microtargeting? Is it a problem? And if it is, what’s the best way to regulate it?
There’s an argument that “political Facebook ads are just ads”. After 2016’s Brexit and Trump victories, when both campaigns made claim to being Facebook ad geniuses, it became important to take a look and see whether they were, in fact, more than that. Over time, the reconstruction of those campaigns has taken much of the […]
Using our new ‘Decoder’ tool, we’ve grabbed and decoded every URL linked to in Trump and Biden Facebook ads since July 1st*. Each URL tells us a little about what the campaigns are trying to accomplish with the ad. By putting them all together, and looking at the data in aggregate, we can see deeper […]