Twitter has apologized after the platform had allowed ads to be targeted at neo-Nazis, homophobes and other hate groups.
BBC News discovered that ads were being targeted towards users who were interested in keywords such as “transphobic,” “white supremacists” and “anti-gay.”
Twitter allows ads to be targeted towards users who search or post about certain things, but the social media giant has apologized for failing to exclude harmful terms.
The platform creates detailed profiles of its users by collecting data on what they post. Advertising companies can use this to their advantage by selecting their campaign audience through characteristics and keywords.
However, Twitter’s keywords should have been restricted. When BBC News tested this, it was able to select the option to advertise to people using the term “neo-Nazi.” It found that it could advertise through a number of problematic keywords.
“[Our] 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. We’re very sorry this happened and as soon as we were made aware of the issue, we rectified it,” Twitter said in a statement to BBC News.
Anti-hate activists and charities say that Twitter’s advertising platform may have been used to spread harmful and hateful things.
Source: BBC News