Facebook to add more human review to ad system: COO Sandberg

Facebook to add more human review to ad system: COO Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg is "disgusted and disappointed" that Facebook was helping advertisers target anti-Semitic users.

However, Facebook said it has now removed the anti-Semitic categories, which were created by an algorithm rather than by people.

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, at a meeting at Trump Tower a year ago. "And we did not find it ourselves - and that is also on us", she said.

Facebook shut down the targeting option last week and said Wednesday that it is will reopen that targeting capability but in a more limited form.

Sandberg said Facebook is taking steps to ensure that material violating its community standards can not be used to target ads.

"We never intended or anticipated this functionality being used this way-and that is on us", said Sandberg.

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Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said Wednesday that the company plans to tighten its enforcement process and human review for ads on its platform. The terms automatically appeared in Facebook's ad system because people had apparently filled them in under "education" and "employer" on their profiles. Non-approved targeting categories includes anything that attacks people based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or disabilities or diseases.

"Such targeting has always been in violation of our policies and we are taking more steps to enforce that now", Sandberg wrote.

The company is also exploring new ways to encourage users to report offensive ads, although it's unclear how those systems will improve on what is now available.

Sandberg also pledged to decrease reliance on automated systems by bringing in more human oversight and will harness community oversight by encouraging people to report potential abuses in its ad system directly.

Facebook is strengthening its policies and tools to better fight hate ads and prevent hateful terms being offered as ad targeting options. Facebook is reinstating 5,000 targeting options that had been temporarily banned - terms like "nurse" or "teacher". She also said, in cases which Facebook discovers unintended consequences in the future, it will be unrelenting in identifying and fixing them as quickly as possible.

Rolling out Recent Ad Activity now makes sense for Facebook as it looks for ways to squeeze the most juice from its ads, especially on News Feed where ad load growth is slowing.