Privacy-Centric Signal Runs Instagram Ads on Big Tech Data Collection – Until Facebook Shuts It Down

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 10: Facebook co-founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill April 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. Zuckerberg, 33, was called to testify after it was reported that 87 million …
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The privacy-focused messaging app Signal recently attempted to run an ad campaign on the Facebook-owned Instagram platform that highlighted the invasive data collection of big tech firms. According to Signal’s CEO, Facebook swiftly shut the campaign down.

Mashable reports that Signal, the privacy-focused messaging app, recently attempted to run an ad campaign on the Facebook-owned social media service Instagram that highlighted the amount of user data collected by tech firms and provided to online advertisers.

The ads would display personal details about the user viewing them collected from Facebook’s ad targeting services. One ad stated: “You got this ad because you’re a teacher, but more importantly you’re a Leo (and single). This ad used your location to see you’re in Moscow. You like to support sketch comedy, and this ad thinks you do drag.”

Signal stated that the ads “would simply display some of the information collected about the viewer which the advertising platform uses.” The idea was to highlight how much data these companies collect from their users.

Signal stated that while most people are aware to some extent of Facebook’s data collection, “the full picture is hazy to most — dimly concealed within complex, opaquely-rendered systems and fine print designed to be scrolled past.” Essentially, users are aware Facebook collects some data but often don’t realize just how much information is harvested by the Masters of the Universe.

However, Facebook swiftly shut down both the ad campaign and Signal’s advertising account. Signal CEO Moxie Marlinspike confirmed via a Twitter post that Signal’s ad account on Instagram was shut down.

Currently, it’s unclear which rule or guideline Signal has breached in order to receive a ban and Facebook has yet to release a public statement on the situation.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address


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