In the wake of Facebook’s — now Meta’s — surprise decision to end its facial recognition program, the company announced another seismic shift in its policies this week by stating that it will end ad targeting based on sensitive categories. That means marketers will no longer be able to target users based on their religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and more.
According to Meta, the move has upset some businesses, while others understand the company’s reasoning. However, Meta ultimately said that it was facing so much pressure from a variety of external parties that it had to act.
“We want to better match people’s evolving expectations of how advertisers may reach them on our platform and address feedback from civil rights experts, policymakers and other stakeholders on the importance of preventing advertisers from abusing the targeting options we make available,” Meta vice president of product marketing wrote in a blog post.
This is just the latest shocking sign that pressure on Meta can actually work to affect change. Of course, these dramatic moves have also coincided with a complete rebrand, so it’s likely that the company is only trying to start fresh in the court of public opinion. But if that means it will make these dramatic improvements to user privacy, that’s an undeniable win.
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