Facebook to Manually Review Advertisements that Target Based on Sensitive Issues

Facebook has come under heavy criticism lately following the recent reveal that several Russian accounts had spent a total of more than $100,000 in advertisements from 2015 to 2017. The advertisements in question targeted users based on their social, political sentiment and recently it was confirmed that at least 10 million Americans saw the ads which ran on the social media to spread propaganda. As a result, the social network is taking initiatives to stop spread of fake news and advertisements dedicated towards spreading propaganda. In order to do so, the social networking giant has recently sent out an e-mail to advertisers saying that any ads that target users based on “politics, religion, ethnicity or social issues” will be subject to a manual review process.

The email was first discovered by Axios and it warns that the new advertisement review process means it might take longer for ad campaigns to be approved. The email reads, “With this update, we’ll be requiring more ads to go through human review. New campaigns with ad sets contain targeting options that we feel warrant additional review (such as those associated with topics such as politics, religion, ethnicity and social issues), we will route them for manual review prior to being approved. In these instances, advertisers are likely to experience a delay prior to the start of ad delivery, although we will look for ways to reduce any potential delays over time.”

As the company is concerned about government’s action on the operation of the social network, it recently revealed that it will be hiring another 1,000 staffs to review ads before they go live. Whether or not the latest attempts to spread propaganda on the network work however, remains to be seen as other social networks including Twitter is also under scrutiny about the microblogging platform’s role in the last U.S. presidential election.

Featured Image: Flickr/Sarah Marshall

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