Incident 522: Facebook Political Ad Delivery Algorithms Inferred Users' Political Alignment, Inhibiting Political Campaigns' Reach

Description: Facebook's political ad delivery system reportedly differentiated the price of user reach based on their inferred political alignment, inhibiting political campaigns' ability to reach voters with diverse political views, which allegedly reinforces political polarization and creates informational filter bubbles.


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Alleged: Facebook developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed political campaigns and Facebook users.

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Khoa Lam

Incident Reports

Ad Delivery Algorithms: The Hidden Arbiters of Political Messaging · 2019

Political campaigns are increasingly turning to digital advertising to reach voters. It is predicted that, during the 2020 U.S. presidential elections, 28% of political marketing spending will go to online advertising, compared to 20% in 20…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.