Sandberg Admits to Facebook 'Fail'

More human oversight will prevent misuse of ads, COO says
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2017 9:40 AM CDT
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in Davos, Switzerland, in January.   (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP, File)

(Newser) – Already facing criticism over the role its ads played in the US presidential election, Facebook is now defending itself over claims that it allowed anti-Semitic ads to be shown to people who posted hate speech online. Responding to a ProPublica report last week that revealed Facebook's algorithm-created ad system allowed advertisers to target profiles with references to "Jew hater" and "How to burn Jews," COO Sheryl Sandberg promised Wednesday that the company would add "more human review and oversight" to ensure its automated processes weren't misused, per the New York Times.

"The fact that hateful terms were even offered as options was totally inappropriate and a fail on our part," Sandberg wrote in a Facebook post. The COO, who is Jewish, added the "deeply offensive" terms were written in the education and employer fields on Facebook profiles, which are utilized to help advertisers target a specific audience. They were only missed initially because they "were used so infrequently," Sandberg said, though she added they have since been erased. Sandberg also said Facebook was working on a program that would allow users to report potential ad abuses, reports Ad Age. (Read more Facebook stories.)

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