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Facebook Offered to Target Ads to 'Jew Haters,' Report Says
16 September 2017, 01:10 | Terri Saunders
Facebook Let Advertisers Target Nazis, 'Jew Haters' and Other Anti-Semitic Groups: Report
The problem is that Facebook allows advertisers to target people based on self-reported categories like field of study, school, job title or company.
After ProPublica accused Facebook of allowing marketers to target "Jew haters", the social networking giant is temporarily disabling the features that let them do it.
The news site tested the service and legitimacy of the targeting categories by purchasing $30 worth of advertisements directed towards users interested in the aforementioned subjects. Facebook approved the ads within 15 minutes, ProPublic reported.
Rob Leathern, product management director at Facebook, explained that content that violates Facebook's standards does occasionally get through. Facebook is also enabling advertisers to report any fields they think breach Facebook's policies. Last month, Facebook told federal investigators that it sold about $100,000 in political ads during the 2016 election season to "inauthentic" accounts, likely affiliated with and operated in Russian Federation. ProPublica was unable to find analogous ad categories of different religions. In this case, we've removed the associated targeting fields in question.
One change Facebooksaid it was considering was adding more thorough reviews of targeting categories before they show up in the self-service platform.
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ProPublica said the anti-Semitic categories were created by an algorithm and they were removed by Facebook after the company was made aware.
Facebook's ad business has become a hot-button topic. After recent white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, the CEO said Facebook would remove violent threats, and the company subsequently removed deleted certain neo-Nazi and white nationalist accounts that it had previously permitted.
Facebook'sad targeting also garnered criticism a year ago when Probublica found that it was able to block people of different races from viewing its ads. Using the ad targeting tools, advertisers on Facebook can reportedly target people who hate jews, like gang-rape, want to kill hajis (Muslims), want to burn Jews, follow Nazi parties, fantasize about "pillage the women, rape the village", kill Muslims radicals and other hate topics. Hate speech and discriminatory advertising have no place on our platform.
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