Facebook has made thousands from hateful ‘groomer’ adverts in 2022

A person walks past a billboard showing the Meta logo

Facebook has made thousands of dollars from more than 150 anti-LGBTQ+, “groomer” adverts this year so far, analysis by Media Matters For America (MMFA) has shown.

The organisation, which is dedicated to countering misinformation, found that parent company Meta had allowed adverts describing LGBTQ+ people as “groomers” on Facebook, despite Meta’s confirmation that the term violates its hate speech policy.

The paid-for adverts using “groomer” rhetoric have made Meta at least $13,600, and have earned more than a million page impressions.

Since reporting the ads to Meta, MMFA said that the tech giant has failed to remove 94 of them, and 19 further adverts have slipped through the cracks within the last month.

Ads paid for on Facebook this month include a promotion by New Jersey’s Holmdel Republican Party, asking voters to support candidates who will oppose “the woke agenda of the left” and “publicly state their opposition to the state’s new sex education curriculum which sexualizes our children to advance the agenda of groomers”

Also flagged are video ads by Illinois state senate candidate Philip Nagel who said he is “fed up and pissed off with the sick perversion that is being pushed on our children” by “a political class full of pedophiles and groomers”.

PinkNews has approached Meta for comment.

Ads also described a ‘pedophile ritual’

Separately, MMFA said it had identified several paid-for ads posted to Facebook that equated LGBTQ+ identities with paedophilia and incest, including an ad by lobby group Protect Texas Kids which described a family-friend drag show as a “pedophile ritual involving children”.

A recent report by Human Rights Campaign (HRC) found that the use of “groomer” rhetoric to describe LGBTQ+ people surged in the wake of Florida’s notorious ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law.

On 29 March, the day after the bill was signed into law, the phrase “OK groomer” was tweeted 9,219 times – about once every nine seconds.

Imran Ahmed, CEO of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, said social media companies were failing to crack down on the slur.

“After decades of hard-won progress, the recent surge in violence and anti-LGBTQ+ hate serve as a reminder of how fragile that progress might be, and that there remain determined and capable opponents,” he said.

“We are calling on Twitter and Meta to act on anti-LGBTQ+ hate and to stop hosting these harmful slurs.

“Social media companies that celebrate Pride Month while profiting from dangerous hatred against LGBTQ+ people should put their money where their mouth is.”