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Twitter has issued an apology after an investigation revealed that its ad targeting interface let users home in on Nazis and other hate groups.
The ability to cater to hate groups through targeted ads was discovered by an investigation from the BBC which found that Twitter's ad platform allowed users to reach groups by using key words like 'white supremacists' or 'transphobic' and 'anti-gay.'
Measures - Terms - Basis - Instance - Terms
'Preventative measures include banning certain sensitive or discriminatory terms, which we update on a continuous basis... In this instance, some of these terms were permitted for targeting purposes. This was an error,' Twitter said in a statement.
'We're very sorry this happened and as soon as we were made aware of the issue, we rectified it.'
Test - BBC - Keywords - Twitter - Users
In a test, BBC reports that it was able to use keywords like 'neo-Nazi' to actually reach Twitter users in an ad campaign.
A test that ran a generic ad wishing users a happy New Year went live for several hours and reached 37 users before being taken down, the BBC says.
Report - Users - UK - Keyword
The report also said was able to target between 67,000 to 81,000 users in the UK who were associated with the keyword.
Twitter's ad targeting tool was also documented being able to reach sensitive groups like users with eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia and was even able to narrow and age range of between 13 to 24-years-old on those users.
Activist - BBC
One activist interviewed by the BBC says...
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