Duopoly: Facebook told bank it can target 'insecure' children as it made £21bn from advertising last year

Facebook studies the communications of children on its network so advertisers can target them when they are feeling “worthless” and “insecure”, according to a leaked document.

The 23-page presentation was uncovered by News Corp-owned newspaper The Australian and was prepared for a bank adver in the country.

The Australian reports: “By monitoring posts, pictures, interactions and internet activity in real-time, Facebook can work out when young people feel ‘stressed’, ‘defeated’, ‘overwhelmed’, ‘anxious’, ‘nervous’, ‘stupid’, ‘silly’, ‘useless’, and a ‘failure’, the document states.”

Facebook told the title that it has “opened an investigation to understand the process failure and improve our oversight”.

The news comes as a report by advertising agency Zenith revealed that Google and Facebook together now account for 20 per cent of global advertising expenditure.

Google was estimated to be the biggest media owner in the world in 2016 with total advertising revenue of £62bn.

It was followed by Facebook with revenue of £21bn.

Press Gazette has launched a campaign warning that the Google/Facebook duopoly in the advertising market is bad for journalism and urging that ways are found to return more revenue to news publishers.

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