Meta Phases Out Controversial Ad Targeting Options, Promises Compensation

Afaf Fahchouch
Afaf Fahchouch
3 Min Read
Meta Phases Out Controversial Ad Targeting Options, Promises Compensation

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has recently declared its decision to discontinue certain detailed ad targeting options, effective from January 15 of this year. This strategic move is aimed at phasing out options that are either underutilized, entangled in legal complexities, or touch upon areas perceived as sensitive, such as health and ethnicity.

The tech giant has taken the initiative to keep marketers informed during the update process. Alerts through the Ads Manager initiative will notify advertisers if any ongoing advertising campaigns on Facebook or Instagram will be impacted by these modifications.

While ad sets will continue to function normally until March 18, they will subsequently be temporarily paused after the completion of the update. Meta has refrained from specifying the categories that will undergo complete removal.

The controversial detailed ads, a type of advertising that targets audiences based on diverse factors, including personal data or specific characteristics, have been a focal point for Meta. In this context, these factors encompass sensitive information about individuals, and this form of targeting is utilized to pinpoint a specific audience based on characteristics that might be considered controversial or raise privacy concerns.

Meta’s resolution to eliminate certain options follows past criticisms leveled against the company for its use of user data, which has prompted concerns regarding privacy and discriminatory practices.

Throughout its history, Meta’s advertising targeting strategies have been subject to widespread criticism, leading to ongoing adjustments to options associated with advertisers in the industry.

In 2018, the company took a significant step by removing 5,000 names from its advertising platform, suspected of involvement in the high-profile Cambridge Analytica case. This case was accused of attempting to influence voters’ opinions during the U.S. presidential elections, specifically targeting citizens with polarized political views.

The subsequent year saw the tech giant facing accusations of selling pre-populated advertiser lists, which included ads for jobs and housing while deliberately excluding individuals from certain nationalities and races. This targeting behavior extended to discrimination against individuals with disabilities based on specific social or ethnic criteria.

Meta has committed to compensating affected marketers by providing alternative targeting options as these changes come into effect. The company’s website elucidates its comprehensive plan, allowing marketers to utilize other targeting products, including broad targeting, custom audiences, Advantage Custom Audience, and Lookalike audiences designed to optimize reach.

For detailed information on reviewing and implementing changes to affected ad sets, marketers are encouraged to visit the company’s website, where Meta has thoughtfully outlined a step-by-step approach for user convenience.


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