Facebook Accused of Targeting LGBT Users With Discriminatory Ads

Elise Fero, Reporter

Social media has always been a large outlet for those in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community, and often a safer place to be themselves. But lately, Facebook users have been seeing advertisements trying to sell anti-gay or pro conversation therapy (the believed therapy to turn those who love the same sex to become straight) books such as ‘Help For Men with Same-sex Attraction’ and opportunities after liking or following a LGBT friendly page or user.

In the policies of Facebook advertisers, it is stated that adverts must not advertise discriminatory or offensive materials against people. This is where it gets difficult. People have different opinions on whether being part of the LGBT community is right or wrong, so therefore some support the advertisements while others are deeply offended. Either way, Facebook has rules against advertisements that may harass or disparage people using the site.

Facebook has since released a statement saying, “We have rejected these ads and they are no longer running on Facebook.” But was this little event enough to make people stop using Facebook? Should they be offended? Many of those in the LGBTQ+ community may feel as if the media site is no longer an equal and safe place for them. What do you think? “To specifically target queer and trans individuals… is the lowest blow imaginable,” claims Rashima Kwatra from OutRight Action International, a human rights advocacy group. As people continue speaking of the issue, all that can be done is for Facebook to stick to its policies and keeping its users from discrimination.