A Goldilocks Zone for political ads
How to take a “gold standard” approach to political advertising transparency and policy.
Around many stars is a so-called “goldilocks zone” where the temperature is just right for a planet to enjoy liquid water, and (perhaps) 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 them only […]
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 […]
Why Biden’s big lead helps Facebook ban Trump’s lies about the US electoral process
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 […]
What Google’s targeting ban has meant in practice
Facebook has announced it’ll further restrict ads that cast doubt on the integrity of the American election. The obvious motivation for this is that the President of the United States is, himself, threatening that process as a central pillar of his campaign strategy in the closing weeks. This has short and long-run costs for American […]
How to turn off political ads on Facebook
Has Google’s political ad targeting ban changed the way ads are used by political campaigns? In short, yes, and we’re starting to see the significant effect (for good and bad) of this.
Ten simple ideas to regulate online political advertising in the UK
Facebook introduces a ‘kill switch’ for political advertising in the US. Over the past five years we’ve seen a massive increase in the level of political advertising through digital platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Google. Alongside legitimate campaigning, thanks to a lack of oversight, it’s also become the perfect place to seed disinformation and manipulate […]
There are good ways of regulating political ads and there are bad ways of regulating political ads.
We need sensible ideas that allow campaigns to reach voters with ideas, while preventing abuse.
This post sets out ten ideas that, if implemented by governments and platforms, would improve trust and transparency.