Signal reveals Instagram ads Facebook didn’t allow it to run

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.


Signal shares some examples of the targeted ads that did not run on Instagram

Signal shares some examples of the targeted ads that did not run on Instagram (Signal )

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.

Just recently, Facebook opposed Apple’s tracking feature with iOS’ latest update. Facebook and its Instagram have begun showing a notification to users to nudge them to allow the company to track them with a message that says* ads keep the apps free.

“Help keep Facebook/Instagram free of charge,” reads the message which shows up as a message informing users about Apple’s new policy, before they are presented with the new system-level ATT alert asking them to allow or opt-out of being tracked across devices. Recent reports suggest that two-thirds of users are expected to opt-out of tracking.