Facebook allows ads for cigarettes, alcohol, and gambling for children


In a move that could open a new door to problems between the giant of the social networks Facebook and the children's rights organizations. Facebook allowed advertisers to target children, with campaigns that were supposed to be exclusively for adults.


According to The Guardian, companies can direct ads to Facebook users under the age of 13, talking about goods such as cigarettes, alcohol and weight-loss drugs, as well as gambling. In directing these advertisements, children must show interest in these goods. Such ads can be posted for a small amount, not exceeding $ 3.


A pressure group in Australia criticizing the internet giants said it had launched a test page to see the advertising options provided by Facebook, through its Ads Manager.


The advertising list showed that advertisements for cigarettes, alcohol, and gambling are prohibited from reaching people under the age of 18, but the same list does not prevent advertisers from targeting children if children highlight their interest in these goods.


The blue site offered on the default page the delivery of ads to about 740 thousand Australians between the ages of 13 and 17 years, and when the page re-clarified the nature of the advertisement, which guarantees the placement of goods sold exclusively to the Baligans, this number decreased, but it kept a large number of children exposed to it.


The pressure group, which calls itself "Reset Australia", said it had placed an advertisement on alcohol. Facebook showed that there are 52,000 children who are interested in alcoholic drinks, and this advertisement costs only $ 3.


If they wanted to distribute an advertisement to children concerned with alcohol, the number was 14,000 children, and the advertisement did not cost more than $ 11.24.


The lobby group called on the Australian government to intervene, especially in terms of information that can be collected on minors, and called for the explicit consent of parents and children alike regarding data collection.


The executive director of the pressure group, Chris Cooper, said that Facebook uses teenagers data in the same way as adults.


Cooper noted how the data of minors are being exploited, which means they are vulnerable to inappropriate targeting.

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