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Facebook has already decided how you’re going to vote

Facebook is wielding significant power over political discourse in the United States, thanks to an ad delivery system that reinforces political polarization among users, according to new research from a team of computer scientists.

The study, published this week by researchers from Northeastern University, the University of Southern California, and the nonprofit technology organization Upturn, shows for the first time that Facebook delivers political ads to its users based on the content of those ads and the information the media company has on its users—and not necessarily based on the audience intended by the advertiser.

“We found that Facebook will disproportionately deliver an ad to the users who [Facebook] believes agree with the ad, based only on the content,” says Alan Mislove, a professor of computer science at Northeastern and one of the authors of the paper. 

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