Meta, formerly known as Facebook Inc. is taking some efforts to show that it cares more about its users than money and profits. According to recent reports, the social media giant is pushing down on potentially harmful ads, something that has put Meta under a lot of bad light in the recent past.
As mentioned in a report by The New York Times and Engadget, Meta has recently announced to remove the detailed ad targeting options for multiple or I should say, thousands of sensitive subjects on Facebook, Instagram and other Meta services. These changes are said to take effect from January 19th next year as a part of Meta’s making relevant changes and improvements after whistleblower Haugen’s accusations.
Hot issues on Facebook and Instagram includes sexual orientation, health, politics, political beliefs, ethnicity and religion among several others and Meta is going to restrict all of these topics from detailed ad targeting.
This is good news, really! However, a big change for Meta is because this decision will crunch down on its profits, at least a little and more than that, it will also impact some advertisers in the market. Nevertheless, the company says that its outgoing options could have led to negative experiences for its users o the platform, especially underrepresented groups, and this way it could refine its advertisement platform to serve everyone on Facebook and Instagram without effectively hurting any business connections.
Other than this, Meta is giving users more control of what ads they see on their timelines. Yes, starting 2022, Facebook users can restrict the frequency of ads related to gambling, parenting, politics, alcohol and more. As noted in a report by Engadget, Meta’s decision in ad targeting coincidently comes the same day when it releases its transparency report which includes some statistics on how the company is improving on hate speech, bullying and other violating content on its platforms. Whistelblower Frances Haugen can be called as a key motivator for Meta to take some action, and quickly.
Anyhow, this is not the first time that Meta has removed ad targeting for specific topics. Back in 2017 and 2018, Facebook Inc. restricted targeting for thousands of sensitive topics on its platforms and considering the current pressure that Meta is under, it is only normal for Meta to take this step.
What do you think about all this? Do you also think that Meta is not doing enough to protect its users from Harassment and bullying on its platform? Do you think restricting ad tracking on sensitive topics will reduce negative press on Facebook and Instagram? These are relevant questions, do let us know in the comments below.