by Brandon Butler
Facebook bans Signal’s ad account for running ads that expose how much Facebook really knows about you 5/4/2021

From the Signal blog:

We created a multi-variant targeted ad designed to show you the personal data that Facebook collects about you and sells access to. The ad would simply display some of the information collected about the viewer which the advertising platform uses. Facebook was not into that idea.

Facebook is more than willing to sell visibility into people’s lives, unless it’s to tell people about how their data is being used. 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 ads are all text but with highlighted keywords that targeted the individual being served the ad, like “You got this ad because you’re a K-pop-loving chemical engineer. This ad used your location to see you’re in Belin.” It’s a clever campaign and not at all surprising that Facebook killed it. But to Signal’s benefit, they’re now getting free publicity with this blog post instead of giving money to Facebook. Seems like the ad campaign is going exactly as planned.