Ad Targeting or Ad Discrimination: Facebook Makes Changes to Stop Discrimination in Facebook Advertising

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The Facebook ad features of years gone by are no longer. With a recent surge in security awareness due in part to Cambridge Analytica, social media users are developing a heightened awareness of advertisements across platforms. Despite the allegations that Cambridge Analytica improperly used ad targeting to directly target users for political gain, businesses have had the same capabilities when it comes to excluding certain groups when making advertising decisions.

Though the capability to exclude certain groups for ad targeting is useful in creating specific ad groups, Facebook’s detailed exclusions lists can be as equally discriminatory as they are helpful. Cambridge Analytica served as a catalyst for many changes in audience information gathering, creating much need for change to what information is collected and how it is stored.

With a Facebook facelift on its way, Social Media Today reports that among Facebook’s biggest changes is the removal of discriminatory elements in ad targeting. Facebook is constantly compiling your information and placing your profile into certain ad groups for advertisers’ use. Advertisers have long been able to create campaigns with the capability to purposefully exclude certain demographics from seeing ads.

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Facebook says:

That’s why we’re removing over 5,000 targeting options to help prevent misuse. While these options have been used in legitimate ways to reach people interested in a certain product or service, we think minimizing the risk of abuse is more important. This includes limiting the ability for advertisers to exclude audiences that relate to attributes such as ethnicity or religion.

So how will this affect your current and future ad targeting strategies? The policy of nondiscrimination should be a company-wide mission and these changes to Facebook’s ad targeting options allow advertisers to target demographics based on interests and behavior instead of race or religion.

Interested in having our Facebook pros navigate the ever-changing world of Facebook Ad Groups? Drop us a line today!