Facebook ‘dark ads’ can swing political opinions, research shows

To Inform is to Influence

Monday 31 July 2017 05.07 EDT Last modified on Monday 31 July 2017 08.41 EDT

Using “psychographic” profiles of individual voters generated from publicly stated interests really does work, according to new research presented at the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ads targeted using profiles generated from individual voters’ stated interests are more successful in shifting attitudes according to Online Privacy Foundation

Alex Hern in Las Vegas @alexhern

The controversial practice allows groups to hone their messages to match the personality types of their targets during political campaigning, and is being used by firms including Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ to better target voters with political advertising with so-called “dark ads”.

“Before the referendum results, the concern we had was that people’s biases were being manipulated, either intentionally or unintentionally,” said Chris Sumner, research director and co-founder of the not-for-profit Online Privacy Foundation, who led the research. “Now…

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