Facebook ads leading to nude webcam modeling sites, diet drugs, weapons sites have been shown to unsuspecting teenagers, an in-depth report by the Wall Street Journal has documented.
The Journal has stated with evidence that some of these ads were being shown to teens and the landing sites for these ads was a dating site called Ilikeq, where users could comment on attractiveness of the teens and click through to their Facebook profile and also invite them for a date. Similarly other similar ads led to weapons sites and diet drugs sites.
This report highlights the challenges being faced by Facebook in approval and regulating ads on its more than one-billion members social network where more than one million advertisers are paying for ads.
Facebook has said that the ads in question were approved because it had not categorized Ilikeq as a dating app. However, even bigger issue for Facebook is the fact that many teenagers exaggerate their age upwards on their Facebook profiles. The minimum age for joining Facebook is 13.
Google and Twitter do not let advertisers target users based on their age groups but Facebook does allow advertisers to target based on age groups. Google has said that it removed 350 million such ads from its advertising platform which is 59 percent higher figure than in 2012. Twitter does not allow ads related to drugs, weapons and sex on its network.
Facebook had earned $7 billion in ad revenue last year which is higher than any other online company excepting Google.