A new study from North Carolina State University has found an issue with Facebook’s user profiling system. This system is used to determine Facebook user interests to serve up targeted ads.
The study found simple actions by a Facebook user could produce incorrect information. Such actions included:
- Making a negative comment on a page
- Scrolling through a page once
- Making incorrect identifications based on inaccurate assumptions – e.g., visiting the Facebook page for Apple, Inc. causing the fruit to be identified as an interest.
While the study sample was small – only 146 test accounts were used – the data raises questions about Facebook’s ad delivery system, which has been an issue for a while.
While Meta, Facebook’s owner, has attempted to remedy the situation with steps such as allowing advertisers to choose where their ads are placed, the platform has been found trying to denigrate its competition with tactics such as hiring a consulting firm to put out negative information about TikTok, according to The Washington Post.
Does your organization advertise on Facebook? Have you been satisfied with the targeting results?