Facebook has allowed the promotion of "white genocide" on the site, according to a shocking report.
The campaign was aimed at people who are interested in a conspiracy theory that promotes the idea of "external forces" that want to exterminate white people.
In a publication called The Intercept, which deals with "adversarial journalism," the fake ad was placed for 168,000 Facebook users interested in "white genocide."
It is believed that this extreme theory could have led an assassin to attack a Pittsburgh synagogue last week. 11 people were killed and several others injured.
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Facebook has apologized for allowing "white genocide" advertising on the site. The campaign was aimed at people who are interested in a conspiracy theory that promotes the idea of "external forces" that want to exterminate white people
The Intercept – who placed the ad as evidence – was able to select the "White Genocide Conspiracy" interest group on Facebook as a stakeholder.
Facebook has 168,000 users who have interest or similar pages related to this type of content.
The paid promotion was approved and only discontinued when The Intercept asked Facebook to comment.
Facebook dominates the fast-growing online advertising market, partly because advertisers can target their ads based on massive amounts of data.
"The site has not taken action until it has been brought to the attention of another person," said Damian Collins, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee, to the BBC.
"The Facebook ad-check service is currently far below the standards we should expect," he said.
The Intercept – who placed the ad as evidence – was able to select the "White Genocide Conspiracy" interest group on Facebook as a stakeholder
After the incident, Mr. Collins sent a tweet describing the promotion of targeting "white genocide conspiracy theory" as "frightening and irresponsible."
Facebook has now deleted the target category and apologized.
MailOnline has contacted Facebook for comment.
Facebook has long struggled to ensure that advertisers comply with its terms and conditions in their self-service system.
After the incident, Collins Collins tweeted The Intercept's original article, describing the promotion of targeting "White Genocide Conspiracy Theory" as "frightening and irresponsible."
Last year, the site was prompted for advertisers to target people interested in topics such as "hating Jews" and "burning Jews."
Journalists from ProPublica, a New York-based non-profit affiliate, asked the social networking company about the targeted messages.
ProPublica claimed to have found the topics on Facebook's self-service advertising advertising platform and paid US $ 30 (US $ 23) to test it with its own content.
Another category found was "History, Why Jews Ruin the World."
The antisemitic categories were created by an algorithm rather than individuals, ProPublica reported. Around 2,300 people had shown interest in them.
Facebook, the largest social network in the world, said in a statement that it had dropped the opportunity to buy targeted marketing based on these topics, and felt that the use of the topics in advertising campaigns was not widespread.
HOW THE PITTSBURGH SYNAGOGUE MASSACRE IS DIFFERENT
On Saturday morning, eleven worshipers were killed during a service at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill.
It all began when the suspect Robert Bowers unleashed anti-Semitic hatred just before the social media attack.
9:49 am: Bowers shared this message online: "I can not sit next to me and watch my people being slaughtered, screw your optics, I'll go in."
9.44 am: Just five minutes later, the Allegheny County Emergency Operations Center received 911 calls for a shooter.
9:55: Two officers are sent to the synagogue.
9:59 am: An officer reports that the shooter "shoots" him with an automatic weapon. Seconds later, another officer says another officer was shot in the hand.
10.02 clock: SWAT teams are sent to the synagogue.
For the next 25 minutes, officials will discuss entry into the synagogue as soon as they have sufficient resources.
10.30 am: The SWAT team enters the synagogue and immediately starts evacuating people.
10.36 clock: An officer confirmed that four bodies had been found dead on their arrival in the atrium. A survivor was found and evacuated.
10:40 am: The team finds four more bodies.
The team searches the synagogue for about 12 minutes for survivors while searching for the shooter.
10:53 am: Shots were fired at the Bowers officer who had entrenched himself on the third floor. The police return the fire and beat the suspect.
11:04: Bowers surrendered and crawled out of the room in which he had entrenched himself.