Leaked internal documents from the social media giant Facebook reportedly show how they exploit the insecurities of young users to benefit advertisers. The allegation was made by The Australian, who viewed the 23-page document marked “Confidential: Internal Only” and dated 2017.
The confidential document reportedly details how by monitoring posts, comments, and interactions on the social network, Facebook’s algorithms can figure out when people as young as 14 feel “defeated”, “overwhelmed”, “stressed”, “anxious”, “nervous”, “stupid”, “silly”, “useless”, feel a “failure”, and “need a confidence boost”.
The information is gathered through a system called “sentiment analysis” and could be used by Facebook advertisers to target teenagers when they are more vulnerable due to their current mood.
Currently, your relationship status, geographical location, age, number of friends, your interests, and how often you access the social network is sold to advertisers unless you opt-out. Facebook is also looking to sell ads to users based on their posts, such as those concerned with losing weight for example.
After they were contacted by The Australian, Facebook issued an apology and stated that an investigation was being opened.
Facebook also admitted it was wrong to do such targeting. Is this too little, too late? What’s your opinion? Let us know in the comments below.