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Study: Americans Object To Online Campaign Ads That Use Social Media Profiling

(Photo illustration by Ed Fischer)

(Photo illustration by Ed Fischer)

roy_melony 300 Melony Roy
Melony Roy is the Social Media editor for KYW Newsradio 1060,...
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By Melony Roy

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In an election year, political ads seem to be everywhere — even in your social media. But now, a new study says those targeted ads might be crossing a line that could generate voter backlash.

The University of Pennsylvania did the first ever national survey to find out how Americans feel about campaigns using their profile data to target them politically.

“The political marketing industry is beginning to use new techniques of advertising which involve using data about  individuals to decide what kind of online ads to send to particular people,” says lead researcher Joseph Turow.  “We wanted to know, given this huge change, what Americans think about it.”

Of 1,500 adult Internet users polled, 86 percent said they do not want tailored political ads.

“I do get the feeling, looking at the overall results, that Americans want more control over what companies know about them,” Turow says.  “This is true in the commercial sphere, but particularly in the political sphere.  And they what companies to tell them when they are doing it.”

Despite the fact that most Americans might not like the social media ads, tailored political advertising is expected to keep growing this presidential election year.

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