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Signal tries to highlight how Facebook collects data from users, gets banned by Facebook

Signal through the ads informed users that Facebook and its photo-sharing platform Instagram use its own ad tech tools to gather information from users.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | May 5, 2021 | Updated 10:42 IST

Highlights

  • Signal posted a series of ads on Instagram to depict how Facebook collects information from users
  • The encrypted messaging platform alleged that the Facebook-owned platforms collect everything they can to sell visibility into people and their lives.
  • Signal in a blogpost revealed that Facebook had rejected the ads that Signal tried to buy on Instagram.

Signal posted a series of ads on Instagram to depict how Facebook collects information from users and then displays ads on the basis of that. Signal through the ads informed users that Facebook and its photo-sharing platform Instagram uses its own ad tech tools to gather information from users. The encrypted messaging platform alleged that the Facebook-owned platforms collect everything they can to sell visibility into people and their lives. However, this did not go down well Facebook. The social media giant booted Signal from its platform.

Signal in a blogpost revealed that Facebook had rejected the ads that Signal tried to buy on Instagram. "We created a multi-variant targeted ad designed to show you the personal data that Facebook collects about you and sells access to. The ad would simply display some information collected about the viewer which the advertising platform uses. Facebook was not into that idea."

"Facebook is more than willing to sell visibility into people's lives unless it's to tell people about how their data is being used. 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."

Facebook had immediately blocked Signal's advertising account after the messaging app tried to run an ad campaign to show Instagram users how Facebook collects data from them. Signal in the blog post said that it tried to buy "multi-variant targeted" ads on Instagram that were designed to inform users about the personal data that Facebook collects from them and sells access to. Signal had also shared examples of a few of those ads. One of them read, ""You got this ad because you're a newlywed pilates instructor and you're cartoon crazy. This ad used your location to see you're in La Jolla. You're into parenting blogs and thinking about LGBTQ adoption."

Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike also highlighted the matter on Twitter. "Signal tried to use Instagram ads to display the data Facebook collects about you and sells access to.Facebook wasn't into the idea, and shut down our account instead."

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