Google, the world’s biggest advertising platform, allows advertisers to specifically target ads to people typing racist and bigoted terms into its search bar, BuzzFeed News has discovered. Not only that, Google will suggest additional racist and bigoted terms once you type some into its ad-buying tool.
Type “White people ruin,” as a potential advertising keyword into Google’s ad platform, and Google will suggest you run ads next to searches including “black people ruin neighborhoods.” Type “Why do Jews ruin everything,” and Google will suggest you run ads next to searches including “the evil jew” and “jewish control of banks.”
BuzzFeed News ran an ad campaign targeted to all these keywords and others this week. The ads went live and were visible when we searched for the keywords we’d selected. Google’s ad buying platform tracked the ad views. The issue is not unique to Google. On Thursday, ProPublica reported a similar issue with Facebook’s ad targeting system.