Meta decides to get rid of thousands of sensitive ad-targeting options

  • Date: 12 / November / 2021
  • Post By: Admin
Meta decides to get rid of thousands of sensitive ad-targeting options

Meta, the social media company, formerly known as Facebook, plans to remove sensitive ad targeting options. Ads based on interactions with information related to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religious practices, or sexual orientation, and many other topics are included in the list. The decision was announced on 9th November and will take effect on 19th January 2022. This will affect various applications under Meta platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Messenger along with the audience network that places advertisements in third-party applications.

The micro-targeting capabilities of the company's Ads platform have been criticized a lot earlier. The targeting abilities facilitate advertisers to discriminate or target vulnerable groups based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. On the company’s official blog, Meta has provided examples of positioning categories that they won’t be allowed in their platforms anymore which includes LGBT culture, Jewish holidays, World Diabetes Day, lung cancer awareness, etc.

The company’s vice president of product marketing for ads, Graham Mudd, said: “Experts have expressed their concern that targeting options like these might be utilized in ways that result in unpleasant experiences for persons from underrepresented groups.” Mudd also added that “The decision to eliminate these Detailed Targeting options was not easy and we are aware that this change may have a detrimental impact some businesses and organizations” as some of their advertising partners have already expressed their concerns over the decision as they won’t be able to use these features to generate positive social change upon implementation.

The company would also provide options for users to block promotions related to gambling and weight loss. The exposure to content like politics and alcohol has been limited earlier considering the public interest.

The advertisers will still be able to target the audiences by geography, personalized audiences who have interacted with their content, use their own customer lists, and also send advertisements to individuals with similar characteristics to their users.

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