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Facebook is working on how to keep ads away from crime and tragedy news topics

Advertisers are working with the social media site on tailoring topics to avoid in the News Feed.

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Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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  • I've been covering technology and mobile for 12 years, first as a telecommunications reporter and assistant editor at ZDNet in Australia, then as CNET's West Coast head of breaking news, and now in the Thought Leadership team.
Corinne Reichert
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Advertisers will be testing how to prevent their ads from appearing next to certain news topics.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Facebook has announced it's working on "topic exclusion controls" with a group of advertisers to ensure ads don't appear on the News Feed next to certain topics. Facebook said Friday that while developing these tools, it will also build in "safeguards to protect people's privacy."

Advertisers will be able to select which topics to keep their ads away from, with Facebook saying a children's toy company could select not to be shown near "crime and tragedy" news.

The testing phase of the project will take most of 2021, the social media platform said.