Facebook Latest News & Update: Social Media App Promoting Ads For Teens With Low Self-Esteem?

2 May 2017, 6:20 pm EDT By Keisuke Akio Mobile & Apps
A news agency recently reported that the widely used social media app is targeting teens with insecurities in their recent customized ads settings.  ( Carl Court/Getty Images )

Social media is undeniably playing a huge role in our society nowadays, especially to the bracket within the millennial generation. Facebook, as a leading social media, is reportedly doing a research which is targeting the teenagers with insecurities.

The Australian reported about a leaked document composed of 23 pages regarding Facebook's research done by the company's executives in Australia, namely David Fernandez and Andy Sinn. The document is said to be dated 2017 and with "Confidential: Internal Only" mark, according to Silicon Angle via PCMag. It is already a fact that Facebook really do some customizing when it comes to their ads and there are situations that it is needed to do it. However, regarding this leaked document that would generate ads which will cater to the emotional struggles of teenagers - like if they feel worthless, or stupid, or insecure - is a bit below the belt.

According to Engadget, Facebook did not confirm if these ad models are solely for Australia only or it has been used in other countries. Facebook's achievement for having almost 2 billion users is remarkable and it has not been recorded before and it is also a fact that more and more teenagers are getting engage in using this application.

According to a report cited by Forbes, 49 percent of Facebook users in Australia are under 13 years old, which is the legal age in the country to have an account is 14, though in some it is 13. These minors are still vulnerable and it would be an act of exploitation if their emotions will be used to advertise any product. Facebook defended itself by releasing a statement dated May 1, 2017.

It says, the article's premise, which was posted by The Australian about the research was done by Facebook, is misleading and it was not the company's intention to offer tools that will target its users' emotional state. Instead, it is to help marketers understand how people express their emotions on the social media. Whatever the leaked document is all about, whether it is a form of teenage exploitation or not, but it is good to ponder over Forbes' quotation of what Andrew Lewis said, "If you are not paying for something, you're not the customer; you are the product being sold."

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