Russian ads on Facebook

I don’t know anything about political advertising, social networks, or much else. But this is what I’d like Facebook and Twitter and Google to do: I want them to devote considerable resources to analyzing who advertises what, and to presenting what they learn continuously, both in highly granular form and in visually appealing high-level summary form. And I want this to be done by either an external consortium with access to each company’s data or, failing that, an internal team walled off from the rest of the business and incentivized cleverly.

For example, I’d like a table showing precisely how much was spent on various issues, issue categories, and candidates, by precisely whom, precisely when. And I’d like a series of scaled pie charts summarizing the data in the tables, showing, for example, geographic targeting of issue and candidate ads, keyword selection, and the like.

I don’t have much faith in any tech platform’s ability to limit harmful ads, but I have enormous faith in the power of transparency and information.

Tell me why this shouldn’t happen?

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