Politics

Facebook scraps ad targeting metrics based on race, politics, and other ‘sensitive’ topics

Facebook have announced it will stop letting advertisers use certain targeting options related to “sensitive” characteristics such as race, religion, sexual orientation, health causes, and political beliefs.

In the announcement, Facebook owner Meta said that, “Starting January 19, 2022, we will remove Detailed Targeting options that relate to topics people may perceive as sensitive, such as options referencing causes, organizations, or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation.”

Examples include:

  • Health causes (e.g., “Lung cancer awareness,” “World Diabetes Day,” “Chemotherapy”)
  • Sexual orientation (e.g., “same-sex marriage” and “LGBT culture”)
  • Religious practices and groups (e.g., “Catholic Church” and “Jewish holidays”)
  • Political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations, and figures

Meta, which makes most of its $86 billion in annual sales from advertising, said it’s making the “difficult decision” in an effort to stop advertisers from using ad targeting to discriminate against or otherwise harm users.

“We’ve heard concerns from experts that targeting options like these could be used in ways that lead to negative experiences for people in underrepresented groups,” Meta official Graham Mudd wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

Meta is not eliminating targeting altogether. It will still allow advertisers to target ads based on age, gender, location and a slew of other interest categories that it doesn’t consider “sensitive.”

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: WALL STREET JOURNAL

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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