Today Denelle Dixon, Mozilla’s Chief Operating Officer, sent a letter to the European Commission surfacing concerns about the lack of publicly available data for political advertising on the Facebook platform.
It has come to our attention that Facebook has prevented third parties from conducting analysis of the ads on their platform. This impacts our ability to deliver transparency to EU citizens ahead of the EU elections. It also prevents any developer, researcher, or organization to develop tools, critical insights, and research designed to educate and empower users to understand and therefore resist targeted disinformation campaigns.
Mozilla strongly believes that transparency cannot just be on the terms with which the world’s largest, most powerful tech companies are most comfortable. To have true transparency in this space, the Ad Archive API needs to be publicly available to everyone. This is all the more critical now that third party transparency tools have been blocked. We appreciate the work that Facebook has already done to counter the spread of disinformation, and we hope that it will fulfill its promises made under the Commission’s Code of Practice and deliver transparency to EU citizens ahead of the EU Parliamentary elections.