July 13, 2024

Meta Plans to Remove Thousands of Sensitive Ad-Targeting Categories

Those organizations include political groups and advocacy groups, many of which rely on the platform for fund-raising. Last year, political campaigns and nongovernmental organizations criticized Facebook when it temporarily removed political advertising from its sites around the presidential election; the restriction was lifted in March. Some campaigns said the move had benefited incumbents and larger organizations that didn’t count on small donations through Facebook.

Republicans and Democrats blasted Meta’s changes on Tuesday. Reid Vineis, a vice president of Majority Strategies, a digital ad-buying firm that works with Republicans, said in an emailed statement that the social network had gone from being “the gold standard for political advertising” to throwing roadblocks between campaigns and voters.

“This decision is harmful to nonprofit and public affairs advertisers across the board and will result in fewer charitable donations, limited public debate and a less informed public,” he said.

Mr. Mudd said that the new policies would be unpopular with some, but that the company had decided that moving forward was the best course.

“Like many of our decisions, this was not a simple choice and required a balance of competing interests where there was advocacy in both directions,” he said. He added that some of the ad changes had been under discussion since 2016.

Augustine Fou, an independent ad fraud researcher, said advertising on Facebook and its other apps had long worked “better than any other display ads elsewhere because Facebook has years of people volunteering information, and it’s pretty accurate.” He added that personalized advertising outside the platform often relied on guesswork that was “so wildly inaccurate that when you try to target based on that, you’re worse off than trying to spray and pray.”

Yet Meta has often struggled with how to take advantage of consumer data without abusing it.

“Of course, Facebook can deduce that you’re gay, or that you’re African American, but then the question becomes whether it is ethical to use those categories for targeting,” Mr. Fou said.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/09/technology/meta-facebook-ad-targeting.html

Speak Your Mind