So over my lunchbreak I’m perusing Facebook, watching footage of the awful, horrifying, mind-boggling Japanese tsunami. Now we all know that, thanks to our own usage of it, Facebook knows pretty much everything about our likes and dislikes. But check out the ads to the right: “Click ‘Like’ if you love Sea Kayaking!” Ouch.
If your an advertiser, it’s always a good idea to think about if your ads could be serving in the wrong places after such tragic events. In keyword-targeted AdWords, it seems a little easier to foresee and avoid such unfortunate placements — take a few minutes to look at your keyword list and scan for any possible connections, and add a quick Negative Keyword List including “tsunami,” “earthquake,” etc. across your campaigns.
But, with Facebook, what would you do? Pause anything water-related? They don’t have any sort of exclusion mechanism that I’m aware of, a la negative keywords. Does Facebook have some responsibility to try to disable ads on any content relating to natural disasters, wars, etc?
I don’t know. But I do know that this particular example would test the limits of even the darkest sense of humor…