Facebook, the most dominating and market-favored social media platform is on pace to connect nearly two billion users by the end of 2017. Clearly, if there is any type of “space” with two billion people in it, advertisers will be scratching and clawing to get their hands on some of that potential market. Due to the exponential growth of social media, Facebook is struggling to monitor where ads are being placed and the methods advertisers are utilizing to reach their target market.
As a solution, Facebook has reported a plan to place more human reviewers to watch over its advertising system. This strategy will hopefully reduce the number of harmful or extremist ways that some people may use Facebook to reach other specific groups of people. Facebook’s advertising system continuously mines information from user profiles which can then be used by advertisers to target specific audiences. Recently, it was brought to light that ads could be steered towards those with anti-Semitic phrases or words on their page. This enables those looking for extremist groups and such to be able to reach and appeal to them with the click of a button. Another concern is that ads are being placed in video streams that may relate to terrorism, anti-Semitism, etc. Advertisers are counting on Facebook to ramp up its monitoring and help advertisements appear only on desired publications.
Facebook’s mission statement doesn’t mention anything about being safe or fair to all races, religions, genders, and groups but we can assume that this move to hire more human reviewers is an attempt to improve its customer relations. After all, having very controversial and sensitive subjects being catered too and even streamed will have a negative effect on the overall user experience and satisfaction.
The fact that Facebook reports that it was unaware of the system being capable of things such as this is a bit suspicious to me. I figure if an advertising system is going to be utilized in a place with such power and reachability, controversial and inappropriate content, to the extent of anti-Semitism phrases on user profiles, should not be allowed to be marketed to in the first place. But, at the same time, Facebook may have been skeptical to ban specific phrase or word searches due to basic human rights granted in the constitution. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, especially on media sites like Facebook, where people are connected based on common interests, beliefs, and occupations.
The ability to search for users with specific phrases, words, or interests on their profile, group them together based on the common variable, and then deliver product that they are predicted to enjoy, is quite remarkable. Market research has come a long way since the beginning of the research and data era. With the account numbers that Facebook boasts, it is not surprising that advertisers are seeking to get as much as they can through their ad placements