Google, Facebook to change ad targeting
Google and Facebook, the world’s biggest sellers of online advertising, faced sharp criticism Friday for allowing advertisers to direct ads to users who searched for or expressed an interest in racially biased sentiments and hate speech.
In response to two separate news reports exposing the issues, both companies said they would change how their systems worked.
The criticism began Thursday after a report from ProPublica, a nonprofit news site, revealed that Facebook enabled advertisers to seek out self-described “Jew haters” and other anti-Semitic topics. The company responded by saying it would restrict how advertisers targeted their audiences on the social network.
The potential misuse of such advertising tools has become a national concern in the past year, particularly after Facebook disclosed last week that fake accounts based in Russia had purchased more than $100,000 worth of ads on divisive issues in the lead-up to the presidential election.