Facebook Removes ‘Treason’ as Tag to Identify Users’ Interests


Facebook has eliminated “treason” as a keyword to identify its users’ interests for advertisers, it said on Wednesday, after Danish state broadcaster DR exposed its presence.

In a short article published on Wednesday, DR mentioned experts expressing concerns that the tag – that Facebook called an “interest classification” – might be utilized by intelligence services in authoritarian routines to recognize individuals thought about subversive.

Facebook, the world’s largest social media with more than 2 billion users, develops classifications such as “sports” or “music” based upon individuals’s online interests, permitting business to better target their marketing.

A representative for the business said the tag was gotten rid of recently.

“‘ Treason’ was included as a classification provided its historical significance. Offered it’s a prohibited activity, we’ve removed it as an interest classification,” a Facebook spokesperson stated in an e-mail to Reuters.

Exports told DR the tag might have been utilized by Russian authorities to locate about 65,000 Facebook users whose online behaviour had marked them as thinking about “treason”.

The Facebook spokesman said: “When we determine abuse of our advertisement products, we act. Depending on the offense, we may get rid of the ad, suspend the ad account or perhaps report the marketer to police.”

Individually on Wednesday, Britain’s details regulator stated it would fine Facebook GBP 500,000 ($663,000) for breaches of data defense law after countless users’ information was incorrectly accessed by consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

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