Facebook, Instagram to Ban Sensitive Targeted Ads Based on Race, Sexual Orientation, Politics and Religion

By Peyton Phillips November 19, 2021
The platform says it is responding to feedback on preventing companies from abusing targeting options.

Facebook and Instagram are planning to stop allowing advertisers to target users based on their history of posting, reading or liking content related to sexual orientation, religion, political or religious beliefs.

The networks’ parent company, Meta Platforms, said that, beginning in January, it would remove detailed targeting options that let advertisers seek out users according to interactions with causes, organizations or public figures related to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion or sexual orientation.

In a blogpost, Graham Mudd, a Meta Platforms vice president of product marketing, said, “We want to better match people’s evolving expectations of how advertisers may reach them on our platform and address feedback from civil rights experts, policymakers and other stakeholders on the importance of preventing advertisers from abusing the targeting options we make available.”

Meta generates 98% of its income from advertisers, who target specific demographics and consumers due to profiles that Meta has built based on their online activity. 

“Some of our advertising partners have expressed concerns about these targeting options going away because of their ability to help generate positive societal change, while others understand the decision to remove them,” said Mudd, who noted that advocacy groups still had options on the platform for reaching people.

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