Google, Facebook Considering Banning ‘Micro-Targeted’ Political Ads

a user accesses google on their device

Google and Facebook are considering banning so-called “micro-targeted” political ads, for fear that they may “damage democratic norms,” The Guardian reports.

“Micro-targeted” political ads refers to ads that are specific to a very small group of users. Using the same methods that target regular ads to users based on their search history — such as how you may receive advertising about boating supplies if your browsing history includes articles about boating or visits to boating-supply retailers — politicians can target individual internet users with ads specific to them and their interests.

For example, if an internet user visited hunting sites and purchased hunting paraphernalia, a pro-gun politician could target an ad to that individual touting the politician’s stance on gun rights. In the same way, a pro-LGBTQ politician could target ads at individuals who, based on their search history, are LGBTQ or pro-LGBTQ.

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