Suffering a large backlash after not realizing that some people were putting offensive terms such as ‘NaziParty’ for personal info for items such as job title or employment, leaving the possibility that people could specifically target those keywords, Facebook has temporarily blocked ad targeting for the aforementioned items as well as education and field of study.
The site ProPublica reported that Facebook had approved ads targeted using audience categories that included “Jew hater,” “Hitler did nothing wrong” and “how to burn jews.” Obviously not a good look for the site. Of course Facebook did not manually create the offensive targeting options. Their system automatically creates keywords to target when enough people enter a similar school or job title, etc. Apparently no one thought to block offensive keywords which led to their ad system allowing people to deliberately target the offending terms.
Facebook posted on their blog: “To help ensure that targeting is not used for discriminatory purposes, we are removing these self-reported targeting fields until we have the right processes in place to help prevent this issue.” the company wrote in a blog post published recently.
Important to note that this only affects new campaigns and if you already had a campaign running with say education keywords the campaign is still live. We assume that they will perform some sort of purging of offending keywords from targeting options.