Facebook bans the company The Spinner from social media channels Facebook and Instagram, the BBC reports Friday. The company claims to be able to change the behavior of people with targeted ads without the targets realizing it.
The Spinner produces advertisements against payment that are not similar to advertisements but to editorial content, the company writes on its website. The company says they can set up these ads so that they can change people's behavior without their knowledge.
The company does this by exposing people to hundreds of advertisements for months. The company sends a link to the target. When clicked on, a cookie, a small file, lands on his or her phone.
This allows the company to track the target and start exposing it to hundreds of specially created items. The Spinner claims to be able to brainwash people to stop smoking or to feel like having sex more often.
The company used Facebook and Instagram for this. Facebook does not want that and has forbidden the company to use Facebook and Instagram for any purpose. The company's accounts have therefore been deleted by Facebook.
Contrary to Facebook's advertising policy
In a letter to The Spinner, Facebook's law firm Perkins Coie writes that The Spinner with fake accounts and fake pages on Facebook users "strategically bombard" with the advertisements. These activities are contrary to Facebook's advertising policy, the letter states.
Co-founder of The Spinner Elliot Shefler told the BCC that the company would continue to sell targeted ads and did not want to exclude using Facebook again in the future.
Shefler also says that the company has been advertising on Facebook for more than a year and that all ads were checked and approved by Facebook during that period.