Want to know why you're seeing *that* ad?

Ever wonder why you're seeing an ad in your Facebook news feed? It's a common enough question, and it's one that some political commentators have pounced on and stoked fears that it's all being driven by big data and we should somehow be scared of it.

While it's true that good Facebook advertising, especially political ads, should have a data-driven approach, the reality is Facebook has a funky little tool to give you some insight into why you might be seeing a particular ad.

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When you see an ad in your news feed, if you tap the three dots in the top right of the post, and then tap "Why am I seeing this" Facebook will give you a general idea of the criteria the advertiser has used to target you.

I'd have an educated guess that Facebook isn't going to divulge the full list of criteria why a page has targeted an ad at you, after all they don't want to upset the people and organisations that provide the money that keeps Facebook going. At the same time it's a good step to try and take away some of the mystery behind the world of online advertising. I imagine it's all going to be fairly innocent stuff, but I'll keep an eye out and let you know if I spy anything interesting.