Amidst the Facebook vs Apple privacy and ad transparency battle, secure messaging app Signal has run an honest ad campaign showing how much data the social media giant is collecting from its users for targeted ads. Unsurprisingly, Facebook did not like this move and ended up disabling Signal’s ad account.
Facebook Bans Signal’s Ad Account
Signal used Facebook’s advertising platform to buy some Instagram ads. Through these ads, the company displayed information collected about the viewer. “You got this ad because you’re a K-pop-loving chemical engineer. This ad used your location to see you’re in Berlin. And you have a new baby and just moved. And you’re really feeling those pregnancy exercises lately,” reads one of those ads.
Soon after this happened, Facebook disabled Signal’s ad account. In a recent blog post, Signal showed more examples of such advertisements. Take a look at the images below:
Facebook, however, denies the claims and calls it a publicity stunt. “This is a stunt by Signal, who never even tried to actually run these ads — and we didn’t shut down their ad account for trying to do so. If Signal had tried to run the ads, a couple of them would have been rejected because our advertising policies prohibit ads that assert that you have a specific medical condition or sexual orientation, as Signal should know. But of course, running the ads was never their goal — it was about getting publicity,” says Facebook.
Regardless of what Facebook wants you to believe, it is no mystery that the company’s core business model relies on targeted ads. If you want to delete what Facebook already knows about you, go through our guide on removing off-Facebook activity. You could also consider deleting your Facebook account if you no longer want to use it.