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.
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.