Economy

BuzzFeed Suggests Google Ad Platform Allows Advertisers To Target Racist Terms

BuzzFeed Suggests Google Ad Platform Allows Advertisers To Target Racist Terms”

In a comparable investigation, BuzzFeed News purchased and published an ad campaign through Google that targeted users who search with keywords like "why do jews ruin everything".

Google pulls its suggestions from text on the campaign's landing page (the website the ad directs to) as well as search trends, meaning there are a lot of variables in terms of what may be suggested. The media outlet claims that when an AdWords marketer uses "White people ruin", as a potential advertising keyword into Google's ad platform, Google will suggest that the advertiser run ads next to searches including "black people ruin neighborhoods". While reports of using similar targeting methods on Facebook and Google's platforms made clear that there were only a few thousand people in the USA that would see these ads, Twitter's platform appears more far-reaching.

Google has since disabled almost all of the terms targeted by BuzzFeed's ad campaign, save for "black people destroy everything", which was still an eligible target when BuzzFeed published their post. We have language that informs advertisers when their ads are offensive and therefore rejected. That's not good enough and we're not making excuses. "We've already turned off these suggestions and any ads that made it through, and will work harder to stop this from happening again", Google's senior vice president of ads Sridhar Ramaswamy said in an email.

The Daily Beast, which briefly ran its own ad campaign to test the company's tools, says Twitter's platform shows 18.6 million accounts "likely" to engage with the word "Nazi", while another 14.5 million users might be drawn in by the N-word. Phillip Schinder, Google's chief business officer, vowed in March that the search giant would take a "tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content".



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