Facebook outs gays to advertisers

Molly Wood Oct 22, 2010
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Facebook outs gays to advertisers

Molly Wood Oct 22, 2010
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For years, Facebook has allowed advertisers to target ads based on a user’s zip-code, age or gender and apparently also their sexuality. A team of researchers at Microsoft and Germany’s Max Planck Institute found a substantial number of ads on Facebook that were targeted specifically at gay men. When users click on those ads the website that placed them instantly knows that the user is gay. And according to the study authors, the ads targeting gay men were diverse. One was for a nursing school in Florida.

We hear from Chris Soghoin, a privacy researcher at Indiana University, and Jason Kaufman, a research fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

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