Who Targets Me? is a side project of The Shop.
The challenge: Parties spend millions to reach and persuade voters with personalised ads, yet political advertising isn’t very transparent or accountable. How can the public be made more aware of the way they’re being targeted with ads, and the ads that others are seeing?
The idea: What if we could see the ads that thousands of other voters are seeing? Voters in your constituency? In the rest of the country? The only way to do that would be to see the ads they’re seeing in their social media profiles. What if we built a browser extension to do exactly that?
The outcome: We built a Google Chrome and Firefox extension that captures the ads you see in your Facebook feed, categorises them as political, then shows data about the types of ads you’re being targeted with. The project had over 12,000 installs in the UK, gathering over 3,000 different political adverts during the 2017 General Election campaign. The project was covered in the New York Times, BBC News at Ten, The Guardian and many other national, international and local media outlets.
Who Targets Me? has since launched in Germany, and will roll out in more countries throughout 2017 and 2018.