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Facebook halts ad targeting of profile details abused by users

Facebook halts ad targeting of profile details abused by users
From TechCrunch - September 15, 2017

In a swift response to the news that advertisers were able to target anti-Semitic phrases on Facebook, the social network has shut down self-reported targeting fields in the ad system until further notice.

It was shown earlier today in a ProPublica report that Facebooks advertising system gladly surfaced categories like How to burn jews and Hitler did nothing wrong. Obviously Facebook itself didnt invent these itself, but scraped them from profiles that had listed the phrases under such headings as field of study.

This led to the offensive phrases being listed alongside ordinary hobbies and interests that advertisers may want to target. Its an inconvenient blind spot to be exposed just now, while Facebook is under fire for inadvertently selling what appear to be politically motivated ads to a network of fake Russian profiles during election season. One wonders if theres anyone to whom Facebook wont sell ad space?

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