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Children 'Interested in' Gambling and Alcohol, According To Facebook

Published by Slashdot on Sat, 12 Oct 2019


Facebook has marked hundreds of thousands of children as "interested in" adverts about gambling and alcohol, a joint investigation by the Guardian and the Danish Broadcasting Corporation has found. From a report: The social network's advertising tools reveal 740,000 children under the age of 18 are flagged as being interested in gambling, including 130,000 in the UK. Some 940,000 minors -- 150,000 of whom are British -- are flagged as being interested in alcoholic beverages. These "interests" are automatically generated by Facebook, based on what it has learned about a user by monitoring their activity on the social network. Advertisers can then use them to specifically target messages to subgroups who have been flagged as interested in the topic. In a statement, Facebook said: "We don't allow ads that promote the sale of alcohol or gambling to minors on Facebook and we enforce against this activity when we find it. We also work closely with regulators to provide guidance for marketers to help them reach their audiences effectively and responsibly." The company does allow advertisers to specifically target messages to children based on their interest in alcohol or gambling. A Facebook insider gave the example of an anti-gambling service that may want to reach out to children who potentially have a gambling problem and offer them help and support.Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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