Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Google and Twitter 'allowed antisemitic and racist ad targeting'

Google headquarters in Mountain View California BuzzFeed reportedly started ad campaigns targeting hateful phrases before they were pulled offline by Google. Stephen Shankland CNET
Theresa Hayes | 17 September, 2017, 16:34

Like any other soulless capitalist behemoth, Google wasn't about to let Facebook corner the market on anti-Semitic ad widgets, and BuzzFeed reported Friday that the search/email tech giant also allows - and will even suggest - ad buyers to target some pretty racist keywords.

For example, using Google's ad-buying platform, Buzzfeed found that when you target the search "why do Jews ruin everything", Google's system generated over 70 more keyword suggestions, ranging from "Jewish parasites" to "Jews ruin the world".

The Google, which is world biggest advertising platform, not only allowed advertisers to target searchers such as "Why do Jews ruin everything" a campaign by BuzzFeed discovered and also suggested to searches such as "the evil jew" and "Jewish control of banks".

According to BuzzFeed, when you type "White people ruin" into Google's ad platform, you will receive additional suggestions of search terms for your ads such as "black people ruin neighborhoods".

Among the potential keywords were an array of derogatory epithets, including "wetback" and the N-word, and the category "Nazi", according to a report in the Daily Beast. While reports of using similar targeting methods on Facebook and Google's platforms made clear that there were only a few thousand people in the U.S. that would see these ads, Twitter's platform appears more far-reaching.

Facebook isn't the only tech giant having trouble with anti-Semitic ad campaigns.

For just $30, Facebook allowed three promoted posts to appear in the newsfeeds of almost 2,300 self-described "Jew haters", according to a report by ProPublica on Thursday. Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

Google told Buzzfeed it is working to examine the tool's workings: "Our goal is to prevent our keyword suggestions tool from making offensive suggestions, and to stop any offensive ads appearing".

Sridhar Ramaswamy is the Google's Senior Vice President relating to the ads. Between Facebook and Google alone, these platforms capture 90 cents of every new ad dollar spent on the web and act as the economic engine of the world's most popular free apps and services. We have language that informs advertisers when their ads are offensive and therefore rejected. "That's not good enough and we're not making excuses", Ramaswamy said.