Signal posted a bunch of ads on Instagram which it said were later removed by Facebook. The ads mentioned the demographic they were directly targeting, with the aim of showing users the personal data collected and sold by the social media giant. The move resulted in the shutdown of Facebook’s advertising platform Signal’s account, the privacy-focused messaging app said. The social media giant gathers research and user interaction data from its Facebook and Instagram platforms, then sells that information to allow users to be directly targeted.
In a blog post, Signal mentions that “Companies like Facebook aren’t building technology for you, they are building technology for your data.” The blog post also states that “The way most of the internet operate today would be considered intolerable if translated into understandable real-world analogues, but it endures because it is invisible.
According to the blog, “Facebook is more than willing to sell visibility into people’s lives, unless it’s to let people know how their data is being used.” Signal created ads that showed how Facebook uses data from its users to target them for ads. He did this by creating very specific ads on Instagram that showed his users that he was specifically targeting them.
Whether the user enjoys K-pop music or is married or single, the ads showed users the demographic that Signal was targeting. The ads also showed users’ locations, interests and hobbies, occupations, and recent purchases.
After closing his account on Facebook’s advertising platform, Signal said, “We have created a targeted multi-variant advertisement designed to show you the personal data that Facebook collects about you and sells access. The ad would simply display some of the collected viewer information that the ad platform uses. Facebook was not in this idea.
“Facebook is more than willing to sell visibility into people’s lives, unless it’s to let people know how their data is being used. Being transparent about how ads use people’s data is apparently enough to be banned; in the world of Facebook, the only acceptable use is to hide what you’re doing from your audience, ”the post added.