Facebook rushes ad update after disturbing 'Jew haters' report

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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.

In response to the findings, Bloomberg reports that Facebook is temporarily removing education and employer fields as ways to target ads.

ProPublica, an investigative site, reported Thursday that Facebook's advertisement algorithms generated categories including "Jew hater", "How to burn jews", and "History of 'why jews ruin the world'". ProPublica said the counter Semitic classifications were made by a calculation and they were evacuated by Facebook after the organization was made mindful.

ProPublica noted that the anti-Semitic categories it reviewed represented too few Facebook users to enable an ad campaign on their own. He said that they have removed the targeting fields in question. As expected, representatives have pledged to "prevent other issues like this from happening in the future" by implementing tighter controls and processes.

Facebook's targeted advertising system is a powerful marketing tool in the right hands.

As Facebook has given advertisers greater power to micro-target their messages using a self-service platform, the company has at times failed to ensure they comply with its terms and conditions. Last week, the company disclosed it sold $100,000 worth of ads to inauthentic accounts likely linked to Russian Federation during the election. The promoted post campaigns were approved in under fifteen minutes, writes ProPublica, confirming that the user audiences were real and able to be targeted by ads.

They can also use people's interests like their favourite music, films and other pages they have "liked" to reach the right audience for them.

The problem occurred because people were listing "jew hater" and the like in their "field of study" category, which is of course a good one for guessing what a person might be interested in: meteorology, social sciences, etc.

All in all, the categories included only several thousand users, but their very existence has raised concerns about the efficiency of the social network's hate speech monitoring system.

"Keeping our community safe is critical to our mission", Facebook said in a statement.

Considering all these elements, Facebook might soon have to draw a clearer line between not allowing hate speech on and not discriminating groups of people regardless of their thoughts and beliefs.

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