Summary of “Facebook’s Role in European Elections Under Scrutiny”

Facebook provides little information on how political parties use ads to reach undecided voters on the site.
The political ads shown to Mr. Dodd are being tallied by WhoTargetsMe?, a nonpolitical group that designed a digital tool to monitor Facebook’s role ahead of the British election.
Questions over the social network’s role in politics are particularly raw in Britain, where outside groups were accused of spending lavishly on Facebook during a heated campaign before a referendum on the country’s membership the European Union.
“Political advertising is fundamentally different; there’s a lot of concern about what’s being seen on Facebook,” said Sam Jeffers, the group’s co-founder and a former digital media strategist.
In the buildup to the election the data showed that the Liberal Democrats – who are likely to remain a minority presence in Parliament – posted the largest number of political ads on Facebook.
The number of ads seen by WhoTargetsMe? volunteers has also roughly doubled in the last month, though political messages still represented 2 percent of overall ads displayed in Facebook feeds, according to the group’s analysis.
The social networking giant also sponsored get-out-the-vote campaigns, and encouraged political groups to create Facebook pages to promote their messages.
The role of companies like Facebook in spreading online falsehoods is limited in Germany, Mr. Scott said, because social media does not play as significant a role in everyday politics as it does in the United States.

The orginal article.