Facebook’s massive stash of user data allows advertisers to target their ideal customers with specially-crafted messages. However, several investigations have found that Facebook helps advertisers target specific unsavory demographics, including literal neo-Nazis, according to The Los Angeles Times.
In a recent attempt to test Facebook’s advertising service, the LA Times found that it could pay just $25 to advertise to thousands of Facebook users interested in Nazi leaders Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler, and Josef Mengele, as well as fans of Nazi music.
Every time Facebook is caught in another advertising scandal — like when Pro Publica found in 2017 that Facebook let advertisers target “Jew haters,” when The Intercept found in 2018 that Facebook let advertisers target “white genocide” conspiracy theorists, and this new development by the LA Times — the massive corporation offers a weak acknowledgment that such things shouldn’t happen.
“Most of these targeting options are against our policies and should have been caught and removed sooner,” Facebook spokesman Joe Osborne told The LA Times. “While we have an ongoing review of our targeting options, we clearly need to do more, so we’re taking a broader look at our policies and detection methods.”
Meanwhile, Facebook raked in $55 billion from advertising sales in 2018, according to the LA Times.
Who’s Driving This Thing?
In August, Facebook announced that it was deleting over 5,000 audience categories to prevent abuse or inappropriate uses of its advertising services. The LA Times reports that Facebook has maintained since 2017 that human employees review every single advertising category on the site.
Apparently, literal Nazis somehow managed to make the cut.
READ MORE: Facebook decided which users are interested in Nazis — and let advertisers target them directly [The Los Angeles Times]