Twitter fails to fix ad-targeting issue that allowed people to reach Nazi and homophobic audiences

Mail Online | 1/22/2020 | James Pero For
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An issue with Twitter's ad targeting tool that allowed users to target hate groups persists despite the company's claim it had been rectified.

A report from Gizmodo reveals that keywords associated with several hate groups, including phrases like 'neonazis' and 'nazbol' were still able to be used for targeting advertisements on the platform.

Gizmodo - Tool - Ads - Keywords - Report

Gizmodo says it was also able to use the tool to run ads based on the exact same keywords used by a prior report from the BBC from last week that discovered Twitter's ad platform allowed users to reach groups via phrases like 'white supremacists' or 'transphobic' and 'anti-gay.'

Twitter apologized after the report, claiming it had fixed the issues.

Measures - Terms - Basis - Instance - Terms

'Preventative measures include banning certain sensitive or discriminatory terms, which we update on a continuous basis... In this instance, some of these terms were permitted for targeting purposes. This was an error,' Twitter said in a statement.

'We're very sorry this happened and as soon as we were made aware of the issue, we rectified it.'

Response - Gizmodo - Report - Twitter - Keywords

In response to Gizmodo's report, Twitter says that the keywords entered into its targeted ads, though seemingly accepted by the platform, did not actually target groups.

'Many of the search words listed are indeed prohibited as hateful content and will not actually register as keywords for the ad once it’s published,' Twitter told Gizmodo in a statement.

'This - Process - Step - Posting - User

'This is an automated process in the next step before final posting. We understand the user experience is not as intuitive as it should be and we’re working to explore ways to simplify it.'

As noted in the investigation, however, that doesn't account for the fact that when published, Gizmodo's ads, which only featured words associated with hate groups, were still able to seen be hundreds of people.

Company - Ad - Dollar - Amounts

The company also may have disabled ad targeting altogether for lesser dollar amounts...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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