How Ontarians are being targeted on Facebook with the provincial election under way - 2018-05-13
To many Ontarians, it felt like the province's spring election began long ago. But as the writ period officially began last week, the volume of campaign-related advertising on social media shot upward.
As it did, some telling trends took shape – from Doug Ford's Progressive Conservatives placing an emphasis on very specific demographics, to the Liberals toning down their attacks on Mr. Ford even as at least one Liberal-friendly third party stepped up such attacks, to Andrea Horwath's NDP getting a big assist from energized union allies.
The Globe and Mail was able to identify these and other developments through its continuing partnership with the U.S. journalism non-profit ProPublica to track political ads being targeted to voters on Facebook. The more Ontarians install a browser extension designed by ProPublica (available here, along with a full explanation of privacy protections), the more we are able to get a full picture of a modern campaign in which micro-targeting has largely replaced traditional mass communication.