Facebook irresponsible with Gambling Ads

Fri, 04/02/2022 - 21:49 -- James Oakley
A screenshot of my phone browsing Facebook this evening

4 facts about Facebook advertising that ad up to a big problem:

  1. Facebook is showing far more ads. On my main feed, it's one ad every 3-4 posts.
  2. The feature to hide an ad and not see it again doesn't work. I regularly see ads I've asked to hide, multiple times per day, even if (each time) I click "hide all ads from {Advertiser X}"
  3. They have a feature to see fewer ads from some certain sensitive categories, such as alcohol. "Gambling" is not one of those categories.
  4. For the last few days, almost every ad has been for a gambling / bingo / prize draw website. "First bet for free", etc.

Put that together. I'm seeing a gambling ad every 3-4 posts, and there is no way to stop them.

The image at the top of this article is a screenshot from my phone, showing one of the many I'm getting.

Gambling is seriously addictive. Some people have huge problems in this area. Not me, as it happens, but others do and it could easily have been me.

For such people, to have regular ads like this is really, really dangerous. And they can do nothing about it - other than stopping using Facebook.

IMO Facebook needs to be more responsible.

  1. Fewer ads
  2. Fix the feature so you can hide ads
  3. Make it so you can opt out of gambling ads
  4. Even if someone hasn't done that, consider banning gambling firms from advertising unless people have opted in.

Dare I put it this way - the stakes are too high not to.

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