Facebook Allowed Sellers To Target Teens With Ads For Penis Keychains

Facebook allowed advertisements for penis and sperm keychains to be focused to children as younger as 13 years previous.

The firm eliminated the advertisements following an inquiry from BuzzFeed News, saying the advertisements by no means ought to've run within the first place, no matter concentrating on.

“We review ads before they appear on Facebook to ensure they adhere to our policies. Upon further review we realized that some of the ads presented do not, so we’ve removed them,” a Facebook spokesperson stated. The spokesperson declined to specify whether or not advertisements focused to children require human evaluation, or how these advertisements made it by way of its evaluation course of.

BuzzFeed News reader Jackie Mitchell noticed the advertisements in her feed, and shared screenshots of the merchandise and concentrating on standards.

The advertisements' skill to make it previous Facebook's evaluation course of casts additional doubt on the corporate's skill to successfully monitor its personal platform. In November, lawmakers grilled Facebook for its failure to identify a Kremlin-linked advert marketing campaign, paid for in Rubles, that aimed to sow discord within the US throughout the 2016 election. The firm additionally didn’t know its advert platform supplied targeting options to advertisers seeking to attain “Jew Haters.” Facebook is at present reviewing its advert concentrating on standards after ProPublica discovered advertisers might exclude specific races from advert campaigns, together with these for housing.

Relatedly, this week a report revealed that some job advertisers on Facebook use its advert concentrating on to exclude older workers. But the corporate stated it's conscious of the apply and defended it.

Facebook's advert platform is gigantic, making it tough to watch. The firm evaluations hundreds of thousands of advertisements every week, per a spokesperson. The huge advert quantity is made attainable due to the corporate's self-serve advert system, which lets anybody log in and purchase an advert, with out talking to a salesman. To assist wrangle its system, Facebook is within the midst of hiring 1,000 new advert reviewers. “Enforcement is never perfect, but we will get better at finding and removing improper ad,” the corporate stated in a blog post saying the hiring plan in October.

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