Great accustomed to targeted advertising, the two social networks of the Meta group have indicated that they want to remove “sensitive” targeting groups, in particular linked to the ethnic origins and political opinions of Internet users.
Facebook and Instagram are already using our gender, our age, our geolocation and our centers of interest to flesh out their formidable algorithm of targeted advertising. Now however, the Meta group will ease off certain ad targeting groups. “Sensitive”. In an official blog post Meta for Business, the company announced that it will now prevent advertisers from using certain ad targeting options, including those related to ethnic origins, political and religious views, health and sexual preferences.
Good news for the safety of Internet users, believes the GAFAM today, which indicates: “We have heard from experts worry that targeting options like these could be used in ways that lead to negative experiences for people belonging to under-represented groups”. Even if Meta assures that these detailed targeting options are never really based on the Internet user themselves, but rather on their online activity, the company finally seems to have understood that the use of this type of “Criteria”, even for commercial purposes, can quickly turn out discriminatory.
As a reminder, this is not the first time that Facebook has been singled out for “Profiles” users that it sets up. In 2019, the company already made it possible to target offers of housing, jobs and loans by “Multicultural affinity”, recalls the site of The Verge. A practice that only officially ended after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Meta protects its place in Europe
Obviously, this decision is probably not unrelated to recent revelations around Facebook Files. To prove to the world that it is not (more?) Harmful to the mental health of its users, Meta probably prefers to take the lead, even if it means losing part of its advertising revenue.
But this decision could also have a link with the recent European decisions ofprohibit advertising targeting on its territory. Rather than filtering only certain geographic areas, Meta probably prefers to take the lead and anticipate.