If you see a blue triangle at the top right of an ad or the words “Ad Choices” – that’s a targeted ad. If you want to find out who is targeting you – click on the blue triangle and it will tell you. ProPublica would love to see what you are seeing. All of these ads are hard to track because they’re being used to target individuals instead of everyone in a free for all sort of way. And as ProPublica explains … these ads could be based off of your prior internet patterns … not just the website you’re looking at at the time. Bye bye privacy.
These companies spending hundreds of million dollars – like Karl Rove and his Crossroads GPS group – are very sophisticated. They are not just spending money on tv ads … they’re going up with online ads and radio and fake grassroots organizations, online bloggers etc. There is a war for your vote – you need to know what they’re doing to influence you.
ProPublica does an awesome job explaining how to recognize if you’re being targeted with online advertising HERE:
But these profiles are also increasingly used by political groups, which can decide which people to target with a message—and which people to avoid—based on the kinds of articles they read and the kinds of sites they visit.
Many Internet users who see these ads may not be aware they’re being targeted.
As we’ve detailed, both the Romney and Obama campaigns are using advanced tracking and targeting tactics. Working with our readers, we found two examples of dark money groups using this kind of targeting, as well: one ad from Crossroads GPS and one ad from Americans for Prosperity, a nonprofit linked to the politically influential Koch brothers.
How many of these ads are dark money groups sending out? It’s hard to say, because it’s not easy to track exactly how much Crossroads, Americans for Prosperity, and similar groups are spending on different kinds of advertising.
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