Busted! Facebook And The Anti-Semitic Algorithm


We found it, but discovered that the category-with only 2,274 people in it-was too small for Facebook to allow us to buy an ad pegged only to Jew haters.

ProPublica says that since they contacted Facebook about the anti-Semitic ad categories, majority have disappeared.

It reportedly took Facebook no more than 15 minutes to approve all three of the targeted ads.

"There are times where content is surfaced on our platform that violates our standards".

Facebook, as part of its review, noted in a post Thursday that it noticed a "small percentage" of users entering "offensive responses" in their education or employer fields on their profiles. Slate, which did a follow up test, found that Facebook also enabled targeting for other hateful groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.

The news of these segments comes in the midst of Facebook's other ad controversy, which saw the company receive over US$100 000 from Russian ads during the 2016 U.S. election. The company added that it would explore ways to prevent similarly offensive ad targeting categories from appearing in the future. After recent white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, the CEO said Facebook would remove violent threats, and the company subsequently removed deleted certain neo-Nazi and white nationalist accounts that it had previously permitted.

More news: Chrome will let you mute sites, block autoplaying videos in the future

The data informing the advertising categories on Facebook was generated automatically, said the ProPublica reporters, and was created from content people explicitly shared on the site as well as by what they revealed via their activity. It technically isn't just Facebook, anyone can try to buy keywords to target Jew Haters on Google - well, maybe.

Facebook's ad business has become a hot-button topic.

Facebook has since disabled self-reported targeting fields "until [it has] the right processes in place to help prevent this issue", a statement read.

Facebook's targeted advertising feature allows advertisers to focus on specific groups of people that are more likely to be interested in their products or services.

But the discovery adds to an intensifying focus on how various types of speech, including advertisements, flow through one of the world's dominant sources of information and social interaction.

"We won't always be flawless, but you have my commitment that we'll keep working to make Facebook a place where everyone can feel safe", Mr Zuckerberg wrote.