Media Finds Facebook Monetizing Searches For Buffalo Shooting Video With Ads

  • People searching on Meta Platforms, Inc FB Facebook for footage of the May 14 racist shooting rampage in Buffalo, N.Y., may have come across posts with footage of the attack or links to websites promising the gunman's full video, the New York Times reports
  • The users have also come across multiple ads incorporated between those posts.
  • Facebook has sometimes served ads next to posts offering clips of the video, which a gunman live-streamed on Twitch's video platform as he killed ten people. 
  • The NYT wrote that Facebook relies on artificial intelligence, user reports, and human moderators to track and remove shooting videos like the Buffalo one. But in some search results, Facebook surfaced violent videos or links to websites hosting the clip next to ads.
  • Searches for terms associated with shooting footage had ads for horror films, clothing companies, and video streaming services. 
  • In some cases, Facebook recommended specific search terms about the Buffalo gunman video noting that they were "popular now" on the platform.
  • A cybersecurity and ad fraud researcher said large tech platforms could demonetize searches around tragic events. 
  • Facebook places ads in a user's news feed, or search results that it believes are relevant to that user based on Facebook interests and web activity.
  • Facebook has come under fire for ads appearing next to right-wing extremist content. 
  • Following January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, media found Facebook surfacing ads for military gear and gun accessories next to posts about the insurrection.
  • Price Action: FB shares traded higher by 1.74% at $194.62 on the last check Friday.
  • Photo by Prodeep Ahmeed from Pixabay
Posted In: BriefsNewsTechMedia