The Australian Ad Observatory project is investigating how Australians are targeted by social media advertising.
There is a lot of speculation about how Facebook decides what ads you see. While they have provided some transparency via the Facebook Ad Library, this offers significantly limited information, is not independently verified, and removes inactive ads from its public database.
The lack of information on algorithmically targeted advertising practices means that we have few ways of knowing if there are breaches of advertising codes of practice, or other potentially problematic activities occurring. We want to achieve a much greater level of transparency and accountability through a crowdsourcing approach, and we invite volunteers to participate in this project if you are currently residing in Australia, are aged 18 or older, and a user of Facebook.
The more Australian users that support us, the greater the transparency. So please help us by installing our browser plug-in, which automatically identifies sponsored content in your Facebook feed and sends it to our Australian ad database. Your data donation will enable us to determine what advertising is present on the Facebook platform, and how demographic details influence the kinds of advertising displayed. The plugin will not access or transmit any personally identifiable information, nor will it read any non-advertising content.
The Australian Search Experience project is funded by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S), and coordinated by researchers from Queensland University of Technology and Monash University.