Google is expanding its list of “sensitive categories” for user ad controls. The new options will assist users in avoiding advertisements related to weight loss, pregnancy, parenting, and dating.
Google announced a new setting for its ads across YouTube and Google searches in December 2020, allowing people to opt out of seeing ads for gambling and alcohol. Prior to the introduction of the new settings, users had the option to “mute” a specific ad from appearing again, as well as other ads that they deemed similar to the one they had just viewed.
However, the new feature will now prohibit ads on the specified topics not only on YouTube or Google searches, but also across Google’s Display network, which includes millions of websites and apps, according to Engadget.
Online users have grown increasingly flustered with targeted ads, which specifically cater to a person’s interests or traits. In November 2021, Meta, Facebook’s parent company, announced that it would remove targeting options for “topics people may perceive as sensitive”.
Earlier in 2019, Twitter banned political ads to avoid micro-targeting and misleading information. Google also recently blocked targeted ads for people below the age of 18.
Users can opt out of ads if they don’t want to see a couple in a toothpaste ad or someone exercising in an ad for insurance. The settings are available on the data and privacy tab on their Google account.