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Study Reveals Why Facebook Ads Can Miss Target

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Facebook has been open about targeting advertising to individual users based on each user’s interests. However, it has not been clear about exactly how that process works.


North Carolina State University (NC State) researchers have determined that Facebook's targeted advertising algorithm does not account for the context of users' activities.

The researchers created 14 new user accounts on Facebook, controlled the demographic data and account behavior, and tracked the list of interests generated by the platform for each account.

They found that 33.22% of the inferred interest for those accounts were inaccurate or irrelevant.

A second study involving 146 participants across the globe who allowed researchers to collect data about their interests from their Facebook accounts, found that 29.3% of the interests inferred by Facebook were inaccurate.

NC State's Anupam Das said, "This inaccuracy has both economic ramifications–since it is relevant to the effectiveness of paid ads–and privacy ramifications, since it raises the possibility of inaccurate data being shared about individuals across multiple platforms."

From NC State University News
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