• Insights

    Facebook adds more transparency: Here’s everything you need to know about Ad Library and Privacy Checkup

Published January 28, 2020

Facebook continues to develop new technologies to enhance user privacy. Ever since the scandal Cambridge Analytica, the platform constantly has been updated it’s solutions with new technologies that focus on user integrity. Now the latest update has been released and it revolves around how users can take better control over what ads they are exposed to and helps users to protect their private accounts from unwanted activity.

The debate concerning political online-advertising has been a hot topic of discussion lately. Companies have chosen to respond to this in various ways and now Facebook has taken their stand in the matter. Facebook launched a new tool “Ad Library” in 2018 with the function of publishing all the political ads that have ever flourished around the platform. This is to highlight political and social issues and also for users to see the sender from the respective messages. In recent months, Facebook has taken a closer look at what different users think about the policy for political ads. There were then two themes that stood out:

  • People wants to have more transparency and overview of who is trying to influence voters by their ads.

  • People also wants to gain more control over what ads they see. 

These insights formed into the 4 following updates in the Ad Library:

View audience size in the Ad Library

A new tab has been added to the ad library: Potential Reach. This gives you the information  of how many people the advertiser was hoping to reach in each ad. 

Better Ad Library search and filtering

Now it will be easier for voters to research and search for specific political campaigns, when filters and search functions are added to the ad library.

See fewer political ads

In addition to previous updates in “Ad-preferences”, which allowed users to see fewer ads on a specific topic or area, it now will be possible to select “political and social issues” as a topic.

Control over Custom Audiences from a list

Custom audience from list is something that can be created based on existing contacts like email addresses and phone numbers. When you upload the list on Facebook they then matches it with users on the platform. Custom audiences from lists help the advertiser to both exclude users from ads and also deciding exactly who should see the content. The new update now give users control of how this information will be used in commercial purpose and makes it available for users on these lists to both hide ads and add ads that they want to see, even if they are excluded by the advertiser.

Except for the new updates on regarding transparancy on political and social issues ads, the renewed transparency update also includes developed tools for controlling accounts – Privacy Checkup. The tool was first created in 2014 and has now been developed with 4 different categories that guide users in how they can strengthen their account security and increase control over who can see their posts and private information.

Who can see what you share

Here you get information about who can access your posts and see your profile information.  You can also change the settings and gain control over who you want to have access to that information.

How to keep your account secure

Here you can update the security on your account by changing to a more secure password and activating warning messages when someone is trying to login from another device.

How people can find you on Facebook

This feature helps you to decide how you want people to find you on Facebook and also who can send friend requests to you.

Your data settings on Facebook

Here you will find information about which apps you have logged in to trough Facebook, and remove apps that you no longer use.

The new transparency update now give users more control over what content they are exposed to and insight into how advertisers think in processing targeting audiences. Users are also now in control of what they share with whom, and can easy regulate the settings regarding their personal accounts. Unlike Twitter and Google, Facebook has not chosen to remove political ads or reduce their reach, but has instead increased transparency regarding political and social issues ads and allowed users to control what they are exposed to. Facebook also gives a promise to their users that the work on increased platform integrity will continue to be processed and developed.

We hope you enjoyed the reading and gained some valuable insights about Facebook transparency. If you’re still unsure for how to tackle things and go about it, we’re always at your disposal! 🥳

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Jennifer JohanssonRelations Manager

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