Last summer, Facebook took a public stand against violent extremist groups, promising to remove their pages and content in advance of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. However, according to a report in BuzzFeed News this week, the platform is still actively labelling people as “interested” in these groups for advertisers.
The discovery was made by the Tech Transparency Project, which created dummy accounts to track extremism on Facebook. The group discovered that Facebook is still placing users in “interest” categories like “militia” and “resistance movement” despite promising to ban such content. Critics said that this is further evidence that Facebook prioritizes profit over the safety of its users.
“For over a year now, Facebook has repeatedly claimed to be addressing extremism on its platform while journalists, researchers, and the public are left to clean up after their broken promises,” TTP director Katie Paul told BuzzFeed News. “These ad interests show that while Facebook’s promises on threats like militia are empty, its pockets are not.”
No matter what Facebook’s intentions are allowing this kind of thing to keep happening on the platform, it’s clear the company has to do a better job of following its own guidelines.
The Choice of Tech Experts Worldwide. Try 90 days free of Bitdefender and experience the highest level of digital safety.
Surf the web truly incognito. Try Bitdefender Premium VPN, the ultra-fast VPN that keeps your online identity and activities safe from hackers, ISPs and snoops.