Facebook has refused to run an ad campaign by Signal on Instagram. The ad campaign, which featured a series of posts, would have revealed what kind of data Instagram and Facebook gathered and used for targeted advertisements, according to Signal.
In a blog post titled ‘The Instagram ads Facebook won’t show you’, Signal revealed it had created a “multi-variant” targeted advertisement that would show users the personal data that Facebook gathered and sold to advertisers.
“However, Facebook’s own tools have the potential to divulge what is otherwise unseen. It’s already possible to catch fragments of these truths in the ads you’re shown; they are glimmers that reflect the world of a surveilling stranger who knows you. We wanted to use those same tools to directly highlight how most technology works. We wanted to buy some Instagram ads,” said Signal in the post.
The privacy-focused messaging app alleged that Facebook was willing to sell visibility into users’ lives.
“Being transparent about how ads use people’s data is apparently enough to get banned; in Facebook’s world, the only acceptable usage is to hide what you’re doing from your audience,” the post added.
That said, Facebook’s targeted advertisement methods are no hidden from the public. The social networking company came under scrutiny after the Cambridge Analytica scandal that involved data harvesting of more than 87 million Facebook users without their consent.