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Homophobic Much? Facebook Reportedly Showed Gay Conversion Therapy Ads to LGBTQ Users

When users asked why they were seeing such ads, the app told them it was because they had shown interest in gender issues.

News18.com

Updated:August 30, 2018, 1:38 PM IST
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Homophobic Much? Facebook Reportedly Showed Gay Conversion Therapy Ads to LGBTQ Users
Mark Zuckerberg Says Facebook Not Done Enough to Prevent Misuse (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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In an appalling incident that recently came to light, Facebook has allegedly been targeting those who identify themselves LGBTQ+ and showing them conversion therapy ads.

Conversion therapies have widely been used as a ‘cure’ for homosexuality or for ‘fixing’ non-binary sexual orientations. The ‘treatment’ includes often pseudo-scientific application of psychotherapy, medication and sometimes even surgery.

The selective targeting trend was reported by The Telegraph in the UK and since then several queer Facebook users revealed that they, in fact, had been receiving such conversion advertisements, often by evangelists and with messages targeting ‘young men/women suffering from same-sex attractions’ and promoting ‘sexual purity’ and chastity.

When irate users clicked on the option ‘Why am I seeing this ad?’, Facebook told them it was because they had shown interest in ‘gender issues’.

Needless to say, Facebook drew widespread criticism on social media with various Twitter users referring to conversion therapy as torture and child abuse and accused Facebook of unethical profiteering.







Some even personally attacked Zuckerberg and compared conversion therapy for the queer community as racial conversion of Jews.





As has now been established, non-binary sexual orientation is not an affectation or disorder but natural state of being and needs no ‘cure’. This year, the World Health Organisation removed being transgender as a mental illness.

The severe backlash forced the social media giant to post a statement in response to the controversy:



According to Facebook, whose advertising policy bans provocative, discriminatory and predatory advertising, such advertisements were not encouraged by Facebook. It also said that the advertisements had been taken down once the questionable nature of the ads was brought to notice.
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