Donor Matching Funds Announced!

A generous donor has offered to match all contributions dollar-for-dollar for the next $10,000 raised, doubling the impact of your donation and helping us reach our fundraising goal faster.

$13,840 of $60,000 raised

Facebook Under Fire for Allegedly Selling Emotionally Vulnerable Kids’ Data to Advertisers

by | May 1, 2017


Less than two months after announcing it would begin using artificial intelligence tools in its marketing arm, Facebook is now being accused of letting advertisers target emotionally vulnerable children.

According to The Australian, a 23-page leaked document obtained by the outlet — marked “Confidential: Internal Only” and dated 2017 — reveals that the social media giant used algorithms to sift through the posts, pictures, and reactions of 6.4 million “high schoolers,” “tertiary students,” and “young Australians and New Zealanders…in the workforce” with the aim of learning about their emotional state.

The news outlet says the algorithms essentially looked for “moments when young people need a confidence boost” — moments when kids feel “worthless” or “insecure” and are perhaps more open to an advertiser’s message.

Facebook says the data amassed by the algorithms was never used for targeted ads, but merely “to help marketers understand how people express themselves on Facebook.” Still, the company acknowledges a “process failure” and says an investigation has been opened to correct the mistake.

That’s a good thing, because Facebook’s real-time monitoring of kids might actually be violating the Australian government’s ethical standards. The Australian points out that the Australian Code for Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children defines children as age 14 and under and says any information that could potentially reveal a child’s identity must be obtained through a parent or legal guardian.

The Australian Association of National Advertisers has already gone on record stating Facebook’s activities appear to run contrary to the government’s ethical standards.

Last year, ProPublica conducted an investigation into Facebook’s marketing practices and subsequently published a report accusing the company of allowing advertisers to target ads based on ethnicity.


This post originally appeared at Anti-Media.

James Holbrooks

James Holbrooks

View all posts

Our Books

libertarian inst books

Related Articles


US Forces Booted Out of Niger

2024 is the end of the ten year lease after expending $110 million to build and $30 million a year to maintain the base. The French forces were booted in October 2023. American troops are leaving now and the German troops will leave in September. The military regimes...

read more

They Hate Our Freedom

They Hate Our Freedom Near the end of 2022,[1] the government finally released the notes from the 9/11 Commission’s interview of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney from April 29, 2004. Would you believe it turns out the president admitted that his...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This