Facebook moves to prevent advertisers from targeting haters

Not very thumbs up Anti Semitic ad targeting found possible on Facebook

Facebook is reviewing its advertising policies after a report found anti-semitic ad categories.

They found the category, but because there were only 2,274 people in it, it was considered too small for them to be able to buy an ad targeted at only Jew haters.

According to Slate, however, it was still possible to purchase ads targeting anti-Muslim and white nationalist users even after Facebook intervened.

ProPublica explains that it placed three ads and selected the audience categories from Facebook's ad-buying platform. "However, there are times where content is surfaced on our platform that violates our standards".

These repugnant "categories" were apparently created algorithmically because a small number of Facebook users listed them on their profiles under "interests" or "fields of study".

But while some have been using these self-reporting fields to make harmless jokes, others have been using them to spew hatred - and it's been revealed that advertisers could have specifically targeted these individuals. Last week, the company disclosed it sold $100,000 worth of ads to inauthentic accounts likely linked to Russian Federation during the election. ProPublica was unable to find analogous ad categories of different religions. And to help ensure that targeting is not used for discriminatory purposes, we are removing these self-reported targeting fields until we have the right processes in place to help prevent this issue.

Facebook removed the categories after being alerted to their existence and said it would seek to prevent such categories from popping up for potential advertisers. Facebook approved all three of the posts within 15 minutes. These two groups had a combined audience of nearly 6000 users. In response, Facebook unveiled safeguards that bar ad sales to "fake news" disseminators and downplay stories with misleading clickbait headlines. But Facebook's algorithms had suggestions to boost the audience size, including to people who like gun rights.

As precious as Facebook's user data is to the company, it has been less than careful in how it uses that data.

Facebook has had a lot of difficulties developing its AI, particularly in its inability to discern hate speech.

Many experts believe that Donald Trump could win in the U.S. only because Facebook helped spread lies and hateful agenda of his campaign managers and helped the Trump camp reach people who had far Right tendencies. Initially, CEO Mark Zuckerberg dismissed critics' assertion that Facebook helped sway the vote in President Donald Trump's vote as a "pretty insane idea".

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