Facebook bans Signal after highlighting Instagram’s ad-targeting practice

Facebook bans Signal after highlighting Instagram’s ad-targeting practice

Facebook earlier this week banned messaging app Signal’s advertising account on its platform after it displayed ads that highlighted Facebook’s ad-targeting practices.

The California-based messaging app ran a series of multi-variate ads on Instagram by giving examples of how the world’s largest social network collects and accesses user data through targeted advertisements. “You got this ad because you’re a certified public accountant in an open relationship. This ad used your location to see you’re in South Atlanta. You’re into natural skin care and you’ve supported Cardi B since day one,” read one ad.

Facebook immediately shut Signal’s advertising account. “Being transparent about how ads use people’s data is apparently enough to get banned; in Facebook’s world, the only acceptable usage is to hide what you’re doing from your audience,” Signal said in a statement.

Facebook declined to comment on the development.

Messaging app Signal gained traction earlier this year, following Facebook-owned WhatsApp’s controversial privacy update. Signal’s focus on privacy and encryption made it the fastest-growing app globally last month, according to data by app analytics firm App Annie.

This isn’t the first time Signal is taking a dig at Facebook. The company has taken to Twitter several times in the past to call out Facebook’s privacy practices.