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Facebook plans to remove thousands of sensitive ad targeting options

Facebook plans to remove thousands of sensitive ad targeting options.

Facebook Inc said Tuesday that it plans to remove detailed ad targeting options that address “sensitive” topics, such as ads based on interactions with content about race, health, religious practices, political beliefs, or sexual orientation.

The company, which recently changed its name to Meta and derives the vast majority of its revenue from digital advertising, has come under intense scrutiny over its ad targeting skills and rules in recent years.

In a blog post, Facebook gave examples of targeting categories that would no longer be allowed on its platforms, such as “Lung Cancer Awareness”, “World Diabetes Day”, “LGBT Culture”, “Jewish Holidays” or political beliefs and social problems. . . He said the change would occur from January 19, 2022.

The company has been criticized for its micro-targeting capabilities, including abuses as advertisers that discriminate or target vulnerable groups. In 2019, it agreed to make changes to its advertising platform as part of a settlement on housing discrimination issues.

“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,” said Graham Mudd, the company’s vice president of product marketing for ads, in the post.

Its personalized advertising capabilities are used by a wide range of advertisers, including political campaigns and social problem groups, as well as businesses.

“The decision to remove these detailed targeting options was not an easy one and we know that this change may negatively affect some businesses and organizations,” Mudd said in the post, adding that some advertising partners were concerned they might not be able to use them. Ads to generate positive ads. social change.

Advertisers on Facebook platforms can still target audiences by location, use their own customer lists, reach personalized audiences who have engaged with their content, and show ads to people with similar characteristics to those users.

The move marks a key shift in the company’s approach to social and political advertising, although it is not expected to have significant financial implications. CEO Mark Zuckerberg estimated in 2019, for example, that politicians’ ads would account for less than 0.5% of Facebook’s revenue in 2020.

The issue of political advertising on social media platforms, including whether it is necessary to verify the content of politicians’ ads, sparked a lot of debate among the public, lawmakers, and businesses surrounding the US presidential election.

Twitter Inc in 2019 completely banned political ads, but Facebook had previously said it would not limit how political advertisers reached potential voters.

Facebook, which now allows users to choose to see fewer ads related to topics like politics and alcohol, said Tuesday that early next year it would give people more control over the ads they see, including those related to games, gambling, and weight loss.

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