According to a report in ProPublica.
According to a report in Pro.Publica, Facebook sold advertisements targeted to antisemitic users drawn to phrases like "Jewish haters".
The social media giant's ad-buying platform allows purchasers to tailor their ads to certain categories of users, seeking to guide ads in the newsfeeds of more receptive audiences. Among the available subgroups who were interested in topics like "Jew haters" and "How to burn Jews", ProPublica found.
The categories were relatively few users – a little over 2,000 for the "Jew haters" label and a handful scattered across other anti-Semitic labels – and in response to the story Facebook removed the categories, which it said was generated by users who wrote phrases that were then visible to the search terms entering the advertisers.
"We do not allow hate speech on Facebook", product management director Rob Leathern said in a statement. "Our community standards strictly prohibit attacking people based on their protected characteristics, including religion, and we prohibit advertisers from discriminating against people based on religion and other attributes.
"However, there are times where content is surfaced on our platform that violates our standards. In this case, we have questioned the related targeting fields. We know we have more work to do, so we're also building new guardrails in our product and review processes to prevent other issues like this from happening in the future. "
But the discovery adds to an intensifying focus on how different types of speech, including advertisements, the world's dominant sources of information and social interaction through flow.
Last week, Facebook revealed that during the 2016 election cycle it sold thousands of advertisements to fake accounts. Specifically crafted to widen divisions over issues like race and immigration, the ads appearing in newsfeeds as Russia directing what intelligence agencies have been disrupting the election in a disruptive manner. [1 945 9 003]
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A maelstrom of overtly partisan and often inaccurate content swamped Facebook and other social media sites during the controversial 2016 election. In response, Facebook unveiled safeguards that bar advertising sales to "fake news" disseminators and downplay stories with misleading clickbait headlines.
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While the technology industry has been generally tried to remain neutral on the beliefs of its tools, it has been criticized for violations against protesters outside a neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia, allowing free speech and permitting incitement to violence. In the aftermath off Charlottesville, many companies cut off users like the neo-Nazi hub the Daily Stormer.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to the bloodshed by writing that "there is no place for hate in our community" and that the site was removing the content "promotions or celebrates hate crimes or acts of terrorism."
"We will not always be perfect, but you have my commitment that we keep working to make Facebook a place where everyone can feel safe", Mr Zuckerberg wrote.