Facebook really just can’t get it right.
The social media company has apologised again, this time after it approved an ad campaign aimed at white nationalists.
And as we know, white nationalists aren’t big on accuracy, just fear-mongering, evident in this pro-Trump election ad.
The recently approved white supremacist ad was a fake campaign created by news site The Intercept, who wanted to test the efficiency of Facebook’s screening process.
The ad drew on a popular conspiracy theory favoured by the types of people (read Nazis or white nationalists) who express interests in topics like “Jew hater, How to burn jews,’ or, ‘History of “why jews ruin the world”.
The Intercept was able to select “white genocide conspiracy theory” as a pre-defined “detailed targeting” criterion on the social network to promote two articles to an interest group that Facebook pegged at 168,000 users large and defined as “people who have expressed an interest or like pages related to White genocide conspiracy theory.”
The paid promotion was approved by Facebook’s advertising wing. After we contacted the company for comment, Facebook promptly deleted the targeting category, apologized, and said it should have never existed in the first place.
According to BBC, The Intercept was able to launch their “White Supremacy – Test” just days after 11 Jewish people were killed at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Authorities believe that the conspiracy theory used to create the fake campaign is the same one that motivated the man responsible for the attack on the synagogue.
The Intercept’s findings come more than a year after Facebook pledged to prevent advertisers on its platform from targeting anti-Semitic users, in the aftermath of a similar revelation by US media outlet ProPublica.
…In response, Facebook said it would add more human reviewers to its advertising system, and said it was “building new guardrails” to prevent such occurrences in the future.
We already know that they didn’t hire enough human reviewers, and the moderators that they do have are faced with such horrific content that they’re suffering from PTSD.
The Intercept is claiming that the ad was manually approved by Facebook’s advertising department. Facebook is claiming that the category was generated by an algorithm, not by users.
Either way, this keeps happening, and it really needs to stop.
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