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Voters used in political Facebook ads as lab rats warn technology analysts

The three main political parties in England and Wales use Facebook audiences "as lab rats in a huge experiment," according to the first detailed analysis of online advertising during a UK election.

Campaign Group Who Targets Me?, The company founded to monitor political online ads, investigated in the first week of the campaign how parties used Facebook before the election. It was noted that all three parties tried subtly different messages, pictures and even colors to find out what appeals to voters.

"This election will be held online. Millions are being spent by everyone involved on "obscure, targeted Facebook ads," said Sam Jeffers, co-founder of Who Targets Me? "Most of us do not know who targets us and how or what impact this will have on politics and society. We urgently need more transparency.

From October 27 to November 2, the Liberal Democrats spent £ 25,502 on Facebook ads. Of this £ 2,985 sent 1

5 different Jo Swinson ads to a total of 128,000 people. They showed the Lib Dem leader in a series of poses, from smiley and determined to thoughtful. All contributions contain the same message: "The Liberal Democrats have fought to stop Brexit for over 3 years. We do not give up and you should not give up – with a link to the party's website. The analysis shows that the 15 ads were reduced to five based on the user response.

A similar analysis of the Labor campaign shows that the party is experimenting with a series of news. A set of images by Swinson and Johnson, accompanied by variations of the message that "none will protect our NHS from Donald Trump."

The party also prepared a "let the people decide" message and sent it out briefly, referring to a second The Tory party has used a series of messages claiming that politicians like Jeremy Corbyn did not respect the outcome of the Brexit vote election as a "people v. Parliament". A series of advertisements were tried in which Corbyn stuffs the voices. Everywhere voices remain in a ballot box as they are thrown away.

Who Targets Me?, Funded by organizations such as the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust and the Open Society Foundations, has partnerships with universities across Europe and the United States. The archetypical electoral parties must attract. The analysis shows that four of Corbyn's pictures and the ballot box generated more money, suggesting that the party has refined its campaign in response to online feedback.

Who Targets Me ?, whose browser extension makes it possible for people to find out who. Www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…01&Itemid=37 According to the statement, the parties treated Facebook users as "laboratory rats in a huge experiment "when they decided which messages and images to use in the campaign When using" A / B "tests, the marketing agencies lagged behind the tests. Two or more versions of a display were compared to determine which performs better.

The process may seem benign, he warned, but it can have negative consequences. "This will allow you to find the most effective negative message about a politician and then send it explicitly to the one that appeals most," he said. "It's an overload of negative politics."

For political parties, Facebook is today a more effective tool than focus groups. "You can test many more messages in real time," Hotham said.

The Tory party has invested the most in these. In August, it was £ 28,000, compared to £ 19,000 from Labor. There was £ 67,000 last month and £ 48,000 so far in November.

"What we see is probably the tip of the iceberg. The parties will be better able to use these tools. So now we need to legislate to make sure it's fair and open from all sides, "Jeffers said. "It is important for our democracy."

Last week, a group of researchers, technologists, digital rights defenders and Internet users called on Google and Facebook not to post political ads until after the elections. "The online advertising model, which relies on extensive data collection and opaque ad-targeting systems, is inappropriate and fundamentally undermines confidence in political advertising," they said.

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