Facebook axes discriminatory ads, will re-educate advertisers

Discriminatory ads will soon be a thing of the past with Facebook.

Facebook said it has removed more than 5,000 ad-targeting categories to limit the ability of advertisers to exclude users based on ethnicity or religion.

Until now, when an advertiser created an ad for Facebook, a tab “to exclude persons who correspond more or less to the following criteria” allowed for the audience to be filtered based on terms such as “halal,” “Islamic vocabulary” or “Shariah.”

These terms have now been eliminated.

Advertisers will now have to go through a process of certification to educate them on the “difference between acceptable ad targeting and ad discrimination,” Facebook wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

Facebook France communications representative, Ben Puygrenier, says the religious aspect of the advertising targeting criteria was significant.

“Most targeting options allowed advertisers to identify and exclude ethnic and religious groups,” he said.

“Hence, by blocking people interested in the Jewish feast of the Passover, an advertiser could prevent Jewish web surfers from seeing certain ads,” he explained.

Facebook is popular among advertisers because it gives them access to an audience of 2.2 billion users and allows them to slice and dice that audience with precision, so they can reach the exact people they’re looking for.

But offering such precise targeting to its advertising customers left Facebook exposed to various forms of manipulation, necessitating the current review of its policies and practices.


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News category: World.

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