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Globe and Mail relaunches Facebook political ad monitoring program

The Globe and Mail of Toronto has relaunched a web browser extension intended to monitor Facebook advertisements ahead of the upcoming Canadian federal election. The software, called the Facebook Political Ad Collector, was developed by US-based non-profit journalism organization ProPublica in 2017. By installing the extension, a user allows the collector to monitor their Facebook feed for political ads. The software collects text, images and targeting information, which is then anonymized and sent to a database. Users can also view political ads that have been served to others. The Globe and Mail will use the information as part of is coverage of the election in October.

“As political parties and other interest groups increasingly turn to social media to promote their message, the Political Ad Collector provides reporters with data needed to be a critical check on politicians and third-parties,” said David Walmsley, editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail.

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