Facebook Announcement: Removal of Ad Targeting Options Related to Sensitive Topics
In case you missed it, Facebook announced last November 9 that they will be removing Detailed Targeting options which relates to topics people see as ‘sensitive’. And these targeting options refer to: causes, organizations, public figures related to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation.
- Health causes (e.g., “Lung cancer awareness”, “World Diabetes Day”, “Chemotherapy”)
- Sexual orientation (e.g., “same-sex marriage” and “LGBT culture”)
- Religious practices and groups (e.g., “Catholic Church” and “Jewish holidays”)
- Political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations, and figures
Facebook clarified as well that the decision to remove detailed targeting is not based on people’s physical characteristics or personal attributes, but instead on how people interact with such content on the platform. They also cited that experts expressed concern that Detailed Targeting can be used in ways to lead negative experiences for people in underrepresented groups.
The Decision to Remove Detailed Targeting
This is due to EU’s strict consumer data protection laws (GDPR). And under these laws, Facebook is not legally allowed to target users based on these parameters without consent from each and every individual which in reality is impossible.
And that law already came into effect 2018 which is already 4 years ago and since then, Facebook has been battling the law. Since the global shift now is towards into more privacy and giving users more control over their data, Facebook seems to concede now hence the decision to remove the Detailed Targeting.
This update is a good reminder as well for advertisers to build up your own first-party data and not rely solely on Facebook’s data.
Facebook clarified as well that if you have existing ad sets using any of the Detailed Targeting options, it will continue to run until March 17, 2022. But still reminded advertisers to update their targeting at some point.
Facebook also stated that even if the Detailed Targeting is removed, users may still be able to see ad content that they are not interested in, which is why they are working out on something to expand the user’s control to see fewer ads about certain types of content.