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InvestmentsFacebook plans to remove thousands of sensitive ad-targeting options By Reuters

Facebook plans to remove thousands of sensitive ad-targeting options By Reuters

¬© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Facebook’s new rebrand brand Meta and Facebook brand are seen on this illustration taken on November 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By Elizabeth Culliford

(Reuters) -Facebook Inc mentioned on Tuesday it plans to remove detailed ad-targeting options that refer to “sensitive” subjects, reminiscent of adverts primarily based on interactions with content material round race, well being, spiritual practices, political views or sexual orientation.

The firm, which just lately modified its identify to Meta https://www.reuters.com/technology/facebooks-zuckerberg-kicks-off-its-virtual-reality-event-with-metaverse-vision-2021-10-28 and which makes the overwhelming majority of its income by way of digital promoting, has been beneath intense scrutiny over its ad-targeting talents and guidelines in recent times.

In a weblog publish, Facebook (NASDAQ:) gave examples of concentrating on classes that may not be allowed on its platforms, reminiscent of “Lung cancer awareness,” “World Diabetes Day”, “LGBT culture”, “Jewish holidays” or political views and social points. It mentioned the change would happen beginning Jan. 19, 2022.

The firm has been hit with criticisms round its micro-targeting capabilities, together with over abuses reminiscent of advertisers discriminating towards or concentrating on susceptible teams. In 2019, it agreed to make modifications to its adverts platform as half of a settlement over housing discrimination points.

“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,” mentioned Graham (NYSE:) Mudd, the corporate’s vp of product advertising for adverts, within the publish.

Its tailor-made advert talents are utilized by wide-ranging advertisers, together with political campaigns and social challenge teams in addition to companies.

“The decision to remove these Detailed Targeting options was not easy and we know this change may negatively impact some businesses and organizations,” Mudd mentioned within the publish, including some promoting companions had been involved they might not have the option to use these provides to generate optimistic social change.

Advertisers on Facebook’s platforms can nonetheless goal audiences by location, use their very own buyer lists, attain customized audiences who’ve engaged with their content material and ship adverts to individuals with comparable traits to these customers.

The transfer marks a key shift for the corporate’s strategy to social and political promoting, although it isn’t anticipated to have main monetary implications. CEO Mark Zuckerberg estimated in 2019, for instance, that politicians’ adverts would make up lower than 0.5% of Facebook’s 2020 income.

The challenge of political promoting on social media platforms, together with whether or not the content material of politicians’ adverts must be fact-checked, provoked a lot debate among the many public, lawmakers and firms across the U.S. presidential election.

Twitter Inc (NYSE:) in 2019 banned political adverts altogether, however Facebook had beforehand mentioned it will not restrict how political advertisers reached potential voters.

Facebook, which now permits customers to decide to see fewer adverts associated to subjects like politics and alcohol, mentioned on Tuesday it will early subsequent yr give individuals extra controls over the adverts they see, together with ones about playing and weight reduction.

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