Facebook and Instagram to remove "sensitive" ads targeting groups

Facebook and Instagram to remove sensitive ads targeting groups
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Facebook and Instagram to remove "sensitive" ads targeting groups

Highlights

Meta to prevent advertisers from using detailed ad targeting options that display ads based on their engagement in "sensitive" areas, such as race/ethnicity, religious opinions, political beliefs, sexual orientation, health, and much more.

Meta, the new name for the parent company that oversees Facebook and Instagram, suddenly wants to be less creepy. According to a blog post on Meta for Business, the company is preventing advertisers from using detailed ad targeting options that display ads based on their engagement in "sensitive" areas, such as race/ethnicity, religious opinions, political beliefs, sexual orientation, health, and much more.

"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,"writes Graham Mudd, Meta's vice president of marketing and advertising in the publication.

Meta emphasizes that the detailed counselling options are not based on your physical characteristics or personal choices. Rather, they are what advertisers think you might be interested in based on their activity. Still, detailed targeting can be detrimental. Predatory ads can appear discriminatory, reinforce addictions, negatively influence behaviour, and even cause mental distress.

Meta plans to hit the "delete" key on many of its detailed "sensitive" targeting options, but this comes after several instances where Facebook had to remove controversial categories in the past. Previously, advertisers could target anti-Semitic and pseudoscience categories. It also allowed companies to target "multicultural affinity" housing, employment and credit ads that could exclude certain races. And only after the Cambridge Analytica scandal did Facebook stop allowing third-party data for targeted ads in 2018, cutting off companies that were selling data like your purchase history to advertisers.

The reason for this recent change could have something to do with protecting mental health, but if we look at the bigger picture, it is likely that Meta is bracing itself for the outcome of the EU's efforts to form regulations banning based advertising. in tracking. Meta's global advertising system cannot effectively filter certain areas, so you will have to disable detailed targeting groups worldwide.

In the third quarter of 2021, Facebook's total ad revenue amounted to $ 28.2 billion, which may explain why it was such a "difficult" decision to make, as noted in the post. The change will take effect on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger on January 19, 2022. However, this will not yet prevent Meta from targeting you based on your age, gender and location; it could only prevent you from being oriented based on your age, gender, and location in your online persona's affinity for a strangely specific subgroup.


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