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Facebook Ad Categories

This dataset includes two tables: data on the interest categories Facebook shows to users and the ad groups its shows to advertisers. ProPublica used this data to show that Facebook tells its users a lot of things it knows about them, but not all the things it's selling to advertisers.

Interest category data was compiled using a Chrome extension, built by ProPublica reporters. The extension showed users the interest categories Facebook assigned to them, and gave users the opportunity to share all of these categories with ProPublica. The data shared did not include any identifiable user information. Through this extension, ProPublica crowdsourced 52,235 unique interest categories.

The second table contains data scraped from the company's ad buying portal. This table shows what audiences Facebook allows ad buyers to target. 

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Data Terms of Use

  1. You can’t charge people money to look at the data, or sell advertising specifically against it.
  2. If you use the data for a printed table, chart, graphic or map, you must cite ProPublica, and link to us if you publish online.
  3. You acknowledge that the data you use may contain errors and omissions, and you are solely responsible for checking our site for any corrections or updates.

Part of these collections:

Machine Bias, Crowdsourced Datasets, and Advertising

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