More than P126 million was spent so far on some 70,000 Philippine ads on social issues, elections, or politics since August 2020, a representative from Meta Platforms Inc. revealed.
In a discussion facilitated by Legal Network for Truthful Elections (“LENTE”) on Friday, Meta representative "Kylie" (surname withheld) explained that the Facebook Ad Library had recorded a total of 69,660 political and electoral ads worth P126,715,758.
The Ad Library is Facebook's searchable database of electoral and political ads introduced in August 2020 in the Philippines.
She said the advertising transparency tool is currently being used by various groups, including election regulators, for them to understand what ads are running during the elections and how much political candidates and parties are spending.
In its Resolution No. 10730, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) banned candidates from microtargeting, "a form of targeting online advertisements that uses recent technological developments to analyze a person’s online usage, to preferentially serve advertisements and other information that specifically reflect that individual user’s preferences and personality."
"Microtargeting of electoral ads shall not be allowed provided that electoral ads can be targeted using only the following criteria: geographical location, except radius around a specific location; age; and gender; provided further that contextual targeting options may also be used in combination with the above-mentioned criteria," Section 9 of the resolution read.
The Meta representative said that starting January next year, Meta will remove detailed granular targetting on topics that may be perceived as sensitive, including race and ethnicity and political affiliation.
Roy Tan, Meta head of Politics and Government Outreach at the Asia-Pacific Region, said they have conducted walkthroughs with COMELEC on the political ads tool.
Meta also partnered with the poll body to lead the training of political parties and candidates on the use of the Ad Library. — DVM, GMA News