Science

Google and Twitter allow advertisers to target anti-Semites and racists

Google and Twitter allow advertisers to target anti-Semites and racists

The news outlet reported that as part of a test, it bought ads targeting a series of phrases such as "black people ruin everything" and "Zionists control the world".

Following a story in ProPublica Thursday which nailed Facebook for allowing advertisers to target users with a preference for anti-Semitic and racist slurs, on Friday BuzzFeed reported that the world's other online giant advertising platform, Google, not only allows advertisers to specifically target ads to users who have searched bigoted terms, it also suggests to ad buyers additional bigoted terms after they typed their initial hateful selection into its ad-buying tool.

In addition to seeing these suggestions when it investigated Google's ad platform, Buzzfeed also purchased ads and ran a live campaign before alerting Google, which promptly disabled a number of the keywords involved.

Twitter found itself caught up in a similar controversy after the Daily Beast discovered that the tech company allowed advertisers to target people who were using keywords that included the n-word and "Nazi".

After trying to target an ad campaign to the search phrase "white people ruin", for example, Google suggested other terms like "black people destroy everything" and "black people ruin neighborhoods". Or at least that's the impression it gives, because the only warning Google gives you when you choose "Jew Killing Weekly Magazine" or "The school of fagget murder and assassination" is that they might not get you many clicks.

"Our goal is to prevent our keyword suggestions tool from making offensive suggestions, and to stop any offensive ads appearing".

Security scare grounds British Airways plane in Paris
One passenger said those on board were informed by the pilot that an individual had made a direct threat against the aircraft. A British Airways spokesperson said: "The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority".

Earlier this week, Facebook faced criticism after reports emerged that the social networking giant allowed advertisers to target users based on categories like "Ku-Klux-Klan" and "Jew hater".

Sridhar Ramaswamy is the Google's Senior Vice President relating to the ads.

Buzzfeed was able to run ads for only some of the phrases, and Google pointed out that the vast majority were not available for purchase, although the oversight wasn't failsafe.

BuzzFeed reportedly started an ad campaign targeting hateful phrases before they were pulled offline by Google.

Google's system went even further than Facebook's in that it automatically suggested offensive search terms. "That's not good enough and we're not making excuses", Ramaswamy said.


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