Google, Face­book to change ad tar­get­ing

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

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.

On Fri­day, an ar­ti­cle from Buz­zFeed re­ported how Google al­lowed the sale of ads tied to racist and big­oted key­words, and au­to­mat­i­cally sug­gested more of­fen­sive terms as part of that process. By mid­day, Google said it would work harder to halt of­fen­sive ads.

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