Everyone who uses Google Search Engine has obviously seen internet ads pop up that carry an unnatural similarity to something they’ve been looking for. But that ad-targeting technology comes along with a dark side as well. Google, the largest advertising platform in the world, has permitted advertisers to target and prey racist and prejudiced keywords, according to the new report from BuzzFeed News.
Twitter also appears to face the same problem with its ad campaigns, according to a new report in The Daily Beast, also published on Friday. Both reports followed a ProPublica investigation that revealed the ability to target and prey racist and anti-Semitic classification in Facebook’s ad platform.
The BuzzFeed reporters found that Google recommended problematic keywords when several phrases are typed in the company’s ad-buying tool and device.
When reporters typed these words “White people ruin …..” the tool suggested and displayed targeting internet users looking for “black people ruin everything…..,” “black people destroy everything” and “blacks ruin neighborhoods “as well. When they typed in the google “Why do Jews ruin everything?,” Google recommended running ads next to searches for “are Jews evil?”, “Jews run the world”, and “jews own everything” Strange!!.
After BuzzFeed News notified and informed Google about the troublesome keywords, the company removed and deleted them from its advertising tool device.
The news on Twitter and Google arrived just a day after ProPublica reported that Facebook permitted advertisers to target people who reported themselves as “jew haters” or those who searched and looked for the topics like “how to burn jews”, and the history of “why jews ruin the world”.
ProPublica approached Facebook and notified about what it found and the company removed and deleted the anti-Semitic categories. Facebook stated that it would investigate ways to fix the problem.
In a declaration to CBS News, Facebook stated that the ad categories were made automatically based on information that users fill out in their Facebook profiles and IDs.
Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google senior vice president of ads, stated up with the following announcement saying:
“Our goal is to stop our keyword suggestions tool from creating offensive suggestions and recommendations and to stop any offensive ads displaying. We have a language that notifies advertisers when their ads are offensive and abusive and that’s why rejected. In this occurrence, ads didn’t run against the huge majority of these keywords, but we didn’t clench all these offensive suggestions. We have already closed and turned off these offensive suggestions, and any ads that made them through, and will work harder to prevent this from happening again and again.”
When it comes to advertisements on Twitter, The Daily Beast discovered same pitfalls, with Twitter permitting advertisers to prey millions of users who are pinched to terms like “wetback,” “Nazi” and the n-word.
The report states that Twitter suggests a feature to target “follower look-alike” accounts and profiles, which permits customers to type in the keywords like “Hitler” and “kike” in order to search users with similar interests. Some of those users involved handle like “@AdolfHitler_” and “@SecretHitler”.
Twitter did not instantly respond to The Daily Beast when it was asked why it lets customers target these audiences.
Twitter has constantly come under fire in the past decade as a hotbed for online based harassment and hate speech. It has rolled out a huge number of changes meant to decrease the problem, including excluding offenders’ accounts and giving users more tools to block and finish trolls. As a platform made for rapid-fire commentary, its own CEO once stated, “We stuck at dealing with these abuse and trolls.”
From The Desk Of