Do you understand how Facebook uses your data for targeted ads?
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What is it?
Research from the Brookings Institution shows that although your Facebook profile may not explicitly state your racial or ethnic identities, the company’s advertising algorithms are able to determine that information and use it to tailor your advertisements.
Since Facebook’s advertising algorithm can discriminate by racial and ethnic factors, it can be used to spread mis-, dis-, and mal-information (MDM) and inflammatory media content to targeted audiences.
Targeting consumers with harmful advertising content based on race and ethnicity violates civil rights laws that protect marginalized consumers from being discriminated against by race or ethnicity in advertising.
Why is it important?
Facebook’s advertising algorithms can be used to harm members of your communities. Journalists have shown that the algorithm can be used to exclude specific racial and ethnic groups from being shown ads for job, housing, and other opportunities.
Political actors, including foreign and domestic powers, can use Facebook’s algorithm to target ethnic and racial groups with mis-, dis-, and mal-information (MDM) to influence electoral processes. Targeting groups with MDM about elections can lead to violence and election denial.
What can you do?
Understand how Facebook uses your data to target you with advertisements.