Facebook launches transparency tool before Irish referendum

FILE- In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. Facebook reports earnings Wednesday, April 25. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

LONDON — Facebook is launching a pilot program in Ireland ahead of a referendum on abortion which it hopes will ensure greater transparency in political advertising.

The tool, which is also being tested in Canada, follows a scandal involving the political consultant Cambridge Analytica that has stoked concerns about privacy on the social network.

One of the allegations in the Cambridge Analytica scandal was that data from millions of Facebook users was used to help micro-target political ads to select groups— meaning that only those most susceptible to the message would see the advertisements.

The new tool being launched Wednesday allows users of the network to see all of the advertisements a page is running.

Voters are to decide in May whether they want to change Ireland's strict abortion laws.

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