Facebook has removed the option to target ads towards people by sexual orientation.
BuzzFeed News reports Facebook quietly made the change last month. LGBT organizations can no longer find members of the LGBT community for ads based on the “interested in” sections on their profile.
“Based on feedback from our community and outside experts, we’re removing the ability for organizations to target people based on the ‘interested in’ information in their profiles,” Facebook product management director Mary Ku told BuzzFeed News in a statement.
However, dating apps were still able to target groups based on the gender and “interested in” sections on the profile.
Calvin Stowell, chief growth officer for the Trevor Project, told BuzzFeed News that the change hurts outreach for the organization, which provides 24/7 phone, chat and text lines for suicidal LGBT youth.
“It’s really important to have that targeting be available,” Stowell says. “We’re advertising our services — obviously they’re life-saving.”
“We have a very limited budget, and so now I have to throw money at the wind, hoping it’s going to reach the group I want to reach,” Stowell added.
According to BuzzFeed News, Facebook announced that dating apps will also lose the option to target based on sexual orientation at the end of April.