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Most of Facebook's ads are placed through an automated system that allows marketers to select who they'd like to reach.

ProPublica was told that as the number of people who fall into the groups was so small - 2300 users in the "Jew Hater" section - it needed to add more categories to purchase ads.

ProPublica shared a screenshot of the anti-Semitic targeting that was available through Facebook's ad portal. Facebook approved the ads within 15 minutes, according to the report. Rob Leathern, product management director at Facebook, said they are considering changing the algorithm creating the groups.

The Google-owned company and social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter have been warned by the Government they must do more to moderate their platforms for hateful content. Once ProPublica informed Facebook of these categories, it took them down. The revelations potentially bolster the findings of intelligence officials that Russian Federation was involved in influencing the 2016 presidential election. The company added that it would explore ways to prevent similarly offensive ad targeting categories from appearing in the future. As such, "we are removing these self-reported targeting fields until we have the right processes in place to help prevent this issue".

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Contacted about the anti-Semitic ad categories by ProPublica, Facebook removed them, explaining that they had been generated algorithmically.

As precious as Facebook's user data is to the company, it has been less than careful in how it uses that data. Using the ad targeting tools, advertisers on Facebook can reportedly target people who hate jews, like gang-rape, want to kill hajis (Muslims), want to burn Jews, follow Nazi parties, fantasize about "pillage the women, rape the village", kill Muslims radicals and other hate topics. It technically isn't just Facebook, anyone can try to buy keywords to target Jew Haters on Google - well, maybe. Last year, the nonprofit journalism group uncovered the ability to exclude certain ethnic groups from being shown ads, which raised concerns that housing advertisers could discriminate against minorities.

Earlier this month, Facebook admitted that its algorithm approved $100,000 worth of ads that point to fake news pages between June 2015 and May 2017. "We don't allow hate speech on Facebook".

Photo Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, in April.


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