Google Allowed Advertisers to Target Bigoted and Racist Categories: Report

Ali Breland, The Hill, September 15, 2017

Advertisers looking to target people searching for racist and hateful content on Google can do so using the search giant’s own ad tools BuzzFeed reports.

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The outlet found that typing “white people ruin” as an advertising keyword in Google’s ad tool would elicit Google suggesting that an advertiser include “black people ruin neighborhoods” as another possible target.

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After finding this, BuzzFeed purchased the hateful ads and found that Google ran them. After the outlet followed up with Google on this, the Mountain View, Calif.-based tech giant deleted all of the search terms, except for “blacks destroy everything,” from its targeting options for advertisers.

“This violates our policies against derogatory speech and we have removed it,” a Google spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.

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Facebook says its controversial ad categories were generated by users putting in racist and bigoted phrases into their education and work fields on the platform, which the company then aggregates and turns into ad categories.

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