Worst Timeline

Facebook Reportedly Let Marketers Advertise to Nazis

Advertisers can pay to make sure their messages reach neo-Nazis.

2. 22. 19 by Dan Robitzski
Tag Hartman-Simkins
Image by Tag Hartman-Simkins

Targeted Ads

Facebook’s massive stash of user data allows advertisers to target their ideal customers with specially-crafted messages. However, several investigations have found that Facebook helps advertisers target specific unsavory demographics, including literal neo-Nazis, according to The Los Angeles Times.

In a recent attempt to test Facebook’s advertising service, the LA Times found that it could pay just $25 to advertise to thousands of Facebook users interested in Nazi leaders Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler, and Josef Mengele, as well as fans of Nazi music.

Déjà Vu

Every time Facebook is caught in another advertising scandal — like when Pro Publica found in 2017 that Facebook let advertisers target “Jew haters,” when The Intercept found in 2018 that Facebook let advertisers target “white genocide” conspiracy theorists, and this new development by the LA Times — the massive corporation offers a weak acknowledgment that such things shouldn’t happen.

“Most of these targeting options are against our policies and should have been caught and removed sooner,” Facebook spokesman Joe Osborne told The LA Times. “While we have an ongoing review of our targeting options, we clearly need to do more, so we’re taking a broader look at our policies and detection methods.”


Meanwhile, Facebook raked in $55 billion from advertising sales in 2018, according to the LA Times.

Who’s Driving This Thing?

In August, Facebook announced that it was deleting over 5,000 audience categories to prevent abuse or inappropriate uses of its advertising services. The LA Times reports that Facebook has maintained since 2017 that human employees review every single advertising category on the site.

Apparently, literal Nazis somehow managed to make the cut.

READ MORE: Facebook decided which users are interested in Nazis — and let advertisers target them directly [The Los Angeles Times]


More on Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg Insists That Facebook Promotes Privacy

As a Futurism reader, we invite you join the Singularity Global Community, our parent company’s forum to discuss futuristic science & technology with like-minded people from all over the world. It’s free to join, sign up now!

Share This Article

Keep up.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep in touch with the subjects shaping our future.
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement and Privacy Policy


Copyright ©, Singularity Education Group All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.