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[Ars] Facebook helped advertisers target teens who feel “worthless”

post #1 of 28
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https://arstechnica.com/business/2017/05/facebook-helped-advertisers-target-teens-who-feel-worthless/
Quote:
The Australian says that the documents also reveal a particular interest in helping advertisers target moments in which young users are interested in "looking good and body confidence” or “working out and losing weight."

So glad I have no social media and use ublock origin. The worst part is, facebook marketing people make so much money from their adverts they are laughing it up in the Caribbean and could actually care less about the people they may rightly or wrongly effect.
    
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post #2 of 28
i don't' think this is inherently wrong..

unless whatever they're advertising doesn't actually work..




For example, if someone feels fat.. and they try to sell you on a gym membership..

That's fair, why not?

Or if a doctor who specializes in psycho therapy who works with weight loss related to stress disorders..



Can things go bad.. sure.. but there's nothing inherently malicious about the system.


YOU are ultimately responsible for watching out for yourself, given such skills by your upbringing..
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tp4tissue View Post

i don't' think this is inherently wrong..

unless whatever they're advertising doesn't actually work..




For example, if someone feels fat.. and they try to sell you on a gym membership..

That's fair, why not?

Or if a doctor who specializes in psycho therapy who works with weight loss related to stress disorders..



Can things go bad.. sure.. but there's nothing inherently malicious about the system.


YOU are ultimately responsible for watching out for yourself, given such skills by your upbringing..

Yeah, you are right, unless its like OTC diet pills and stuff, girls with low self-esteem (this whole thing targets them btw) are not going to be able to make good decisions (teenage target base btw, so technically not adults yet, hence not able to make own decisions for a reason).

Really you should not be allowed to be considered an adult until the brain is fully developed around age 19-21 when the frontal lobe finishes growing.
    
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post #4 of 28
Maybe adverts for blood work and a nutritionist, gym alone could solve a problem or exacerbate it
    
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post #5 of 28
Quote:
When reached for comment by The Australian, a representative for Facebook Australia issued a formal and lengthy apology, saying in part, "We have opened an investigation to understand the process failure and improve our oversight. We will undertake disciplinary and other processes as appropriate."

They apologized for their actions or because they got caught?
 
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post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by tpi2007 View Post

They apologized for their actions or because they got caught?

Isn't that how it always goes?

Not really surprised about this tbh, websites like Facebook doing this, hell even Myspace did the same kinda thing, depending on your likes, shares etc ads would be targeted at you.
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post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheReciever View Post

Maybe adverts for blood work and a nutritionist, gym alone could solve a problem or exacerbate it

It's not often you hear of exercise exacerbating obesity wink.gif If someone has an underlying medical condition that prevents proper exercise you'd hope that it would have been identified, especially if it's caused significant weight gain.

That said, I doubt facebook is helping people advertise gym memberships.

Gym memberships are usually local, and most facebook advertisers (at least in the UK) seem to be national or international companies. That means it's more likely they'll be pushing some ridiculous diet, muscle gain or weight loss formula.

Either way it's hard to tell conclusively without more data, but it'd probably be a good idea for advertising aimed at people under a certain age to have some kind of oversight (if it doesn't already).

I know in the UK the Advertising Standards Agency regulates advertising targeted at children (defined as people under 16) and vulnerable groups, although without checking I'm unsure as to their definition of a vulnerable group.
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post #8 of 28
This is so wrong IMO. I don't know why the gym membership was specifically taken. You can't say what kind of ads will exploit teen's vulnerabilities.
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post #9 of 28
Wonder when theyll target all those advertisements in womans magazines (and mens) that focus on the same thing?

To me, these cases are simply the usual "one step at a time" tactics towards full censorship of the internet. Claim its for the benefit of the children and get the pearl clutches worked up so theyll agree with it. Basically the internet equivalent of looking for non-existent WMDs in a country youve no right to be in.
Edited by LoLomgbbq - 5/1/17 at 4:49am
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoLomgbbq View Post

Wonder when theyll target all those advertisements in womans magazines (and mens) that focus on the same thing?

They class that as different, because adults are considered as able to make their own decisions regardless of if they're vulnerable or not while young teenagers are far more impressionable.

I don't agree with it, but this isn't much more than the next stage of targeted advertising. Getting people with specific ads while in certain moods was inevitable eg: if you have an online food ordering site open then they know you're hungry right now so start hammering you with another brands service (bad example but should get the point across). They're going in for the long haul and will be tailoring this service to an incredible level of detail.

Personally, I think that any facebook or social media account should not be able to collect data on anyone under the age of 18 (or the respective age in their country) as I don't believe it's acceptable that companies can effectively manipulate young people this easily.
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