India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is said to have been provided cheaper advertisement rates on Facebook than its opponents, according to an investigation by The Reporters’ Collective (TRC) and Ad.watch, a research project studying political advertisements on social media.
The study, published by Al Jazeera, analysed 536,070 political advertisements in Facebook's Ad Library than ran between February 2019 and November 2020.
Being Facebook’s largest political client, the markdown helped the BJP reach more voters for less money, according to the report, and may have contributed towards its success in elections.
Campaign India reached out to Facebook parent company Meta for a comment. At the time of writing, there was no response from the company.