It was recently reported that Facebook has continued to track teens for ad targeting across its social platforms, despite the fact that it claims it will limit how advertisers can reach young users.
The company has been accused of continuing to target teens with ad targeting and not closing down its algorithms for tracking and targeting them.
Facebook has been accused of not making meaningful changes to its system and continues to keep its systems’ ability to track and monitor children and teens to increase ad engagement and revenue. Many believe that Facebook is not protecting its most vulnerable users from manipulative advertising and is making a show by removing targeting control from advertisers to suggest that it is looking after its users.
Facebook denied that it uses tracking data still linked to teens’ accounts to “personalize ads” but did not explain why. The advertising platforms continue to be “optimized for teens” by algorithms and used to harvest data about children’s online behavior. This powers its AI-driven ad targeting that continues to make profits.
Facebook made changes in July to advertisers’ ability to target younger users and stated that targeting would be restricted to age, gender, location. They emphasized how advertisers would only be able to target people aged 18 or older based upon those demographics.
The advocacy coalition wrote a letter saying that while Facebook claims it won’t allow advertisers to selectively target teenagers anymore, they have continued to target teens with the power and influence of AI. They went on to say that replacing targeted advertisers with a machine learning delivery platform doesn’t represent a demonstrable improvement in children’s lives.
Facebook still uses the huge amount of data it has about its users to identify vulnerable children. This could be teens with eating disorders being served weight-loss ads or making teens feel vulnerable when they view a specific ad.