Forget It Jake, It’s Facebook

Want to sell ads to fans of Joseph Mengele?

We now know that Facebook had algorithms to identify Nazis, and sold them to advertisers, because, Nazis, Schmazis, there is money to be made:

Facebook makes money by charging advertisers to reach just the right audience for their message — even when that audience is made up of people interested in the perpetrators of the Holocaust or explicitly neo-Nazi music.

Despite promises of greater oversight following past advertising scandals, a Times review shows that Facebook has continued to allow advertisers to target hundreds of thousands of users the social media firm believes are curious about topics such as “Joseph Goebbels,” “Josef Mengele,” “Heinrich Himmler,” the neo-nazi punk band Skrewdriver and Benito Mussolini’s long-defunct National Fascist Party.

Experts say that this practice runs counter to the company’s stated principles and can help fuel radicalization online.


The Times decided to test the effectiveness of the company’s efforts by seeing if Facebook would allow the sale of ads directed to certain segments of users.

Facebook allowed The Times to target ads to users Facebook has determined are interested in Goebbels, the Third Reich’s chief propagandist, Himmler, the architect of the Holocaust and leader of the SS, and Mengele, the infamous concentration camp doctor who performed human experiments on prisoners. Each category included hundreds of thousands of users.

The company also approved an ad targeted to fans of Skrewdriver, a notorious white supremacist punk band — and automatically suggested a series of topics related to European far-right movements to bolster the ad’s reach.

Collectively, the ads were seen by 4,153 users in 24 hours, with The Times paying only $25 to fuel the push.

Facebook, and its founder Mark Zuckerberg, has amoral lies as a central part of its business ever since he was a student at Harvard.

The idea that anyone should be surprised by this is laughable.

It’s their basic DNA.

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