65,000 Russians have received the label ‘interested in treason’ on Facebook, writes the British newspaper The Guardian. This was done by the algorithm that determines which ads are shown to which Facebook visitor, reports Press Cube.
Every Facebook user is assigned this type of label. These interests range from chocolate to internet banking to handbags. The label ‘treason’ has now been removed after the Danish state broadcaster Danmarks Radio discovered it.
Facebook admitted that this happened accidentally. , Land treason was added as a category because of its historical importance. Since it is an illegal activity, we have removed the label, ” said a spokesperson.
Whether the Russian state was aware of the labels and has done something with them is unclear. In theory, they could have started a campaign on Facebook, and thereby tick the labels ‘Russian’ and ‘interested in treason’. If this target group had clicked on the ad, the IP addresses could have been collected.
Russia expert Mette Skak from Aarhus University told The Guardian that the Internet in Russia is not officially censored. “These methods, which Facebook probably unknowingly gave to the Russian authorities, make it very easy for the government authorities to detect possible traitors systematically”, says Skak.
Facebook reacted to the commotion: “When we detect abuse of our advertisements, we immediately take action. In such cases, we will remove the ad, suspend the account of the advertiser or even inform the local authorities. ‘
The labels from Facebook have already caused some dust. Since the AVG came into effect, companies can not merely store or share personal information, such as sexuality, religion or political preference.
Facebook, therefore, asked all its users if they agreed to the processing of such information. However, this permission is not necessary for the allocation of the labels, as a result of which a user can still get the name ‘interested in homosexuality’ or ‘interested in Islam’.