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Facebook targeted LGBT users with ‘gay cure’ adverts deemed ‘predatory’

Lydia Smith August 26, 2018

Facebook has reportedly been targeting LGBT users (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Social media giant Facebook has reportedly been targeting LGBT users with ‘predatory’ gay cure adverts.

Users reported seeing ads promoting “sexual purity” and gay conversion therapy because of pages they had shown an interest in, an investigation by the Telegraph found.

Users began clicking on the term “Why am I seeing this ad?” and were met with the response that the team at Facebook noticed they were interested in “gender issues.”

One woman, Tessa Ann Schwarz, said: “I don’t know why Facebook has permitted this group to target LGBT people, who have intentionally sought out community and education amongst peers, for shaming and hatred masked as love.”

Gay cure therapy is often extremely harmful (Istock)

Schwarz reported the video to Facebook for being “upsetting.”

Facebook removed the posts after the investigation revealed a “flaw” with the “micro-targeting algorithm.”

Earlier this year, a video advertising gay ‘cure’ therapy racked up more than 1.5 million views on Facebook, after it was posted by a US evangelical Christian group.

It was misleadingly titled Love is Love and featured a rainbow flag thumbnail, only to call for gay people to repent their sexuality.

The ad featured the story of a woman who claims that she was cured of homosexuality because she turned to God.

The UK government has vowed to outlaw gay conversion therapy (File photo)

Last year, PinkNews revealed that Facebook had been taking thousands of dollars from Anchored North to target gay users an ad.

The clip featured an evangelical, alleged ex-lesbian called Emily Thomes, who talked about how she found God and renounced her homosexual lifestyle.

She explained: “I could not stop thinking, what if all of it’s true? Are you sure this is who you are? I couldn’t stop questioning. I need to feel okay. I don’t feel okay anymore.

“I googled verses [of the Bible] on homosexuality. Those who practise homosexuality, which was me… will not enter the kingdom of God. It scared me, really bad.”

 

More: Facebook, gay cure, gay cure therapy, social media

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