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Tech giants Google and Twitter are in hot water after it was discovered that they were allowing advertisers to target individuals who used racist search terms, reports CBS News.

According to a new study conducted by BuzzFeed, Google proposed derogatory keywords when phrases were put into its ad-buying tool, the news outlet writes. When Buzzfeed reporters entered “White people ruin …” Google’s ad-buying tool suggested going after individuals who searched for the phrases “Black people ruin neighborhoods,” “Black people ruin everything,” and “Blacks destroy everything.”

CBS News reports that after Google was alerted about the issue, they swiftly removed the racist keywords from the tool and issued an apology.

“Our goal is to prevent our keyword suggestions tool from making offensive suggestions, and to stop any offensive ads appearing. We have language that informs advertisers when their ads are offensive and therefore rejected,” Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google senior vice president of ads, said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “We’ve already turned off these suggestions, and any ads that made it through, and will work harder to stop this from happening again.”

Twitter found itself caught up in a similar controversy after the Daily Beast discovered that the tech company allowed advertisers to target people who were using keywords that included the n-word and “Nazi.” According to CBS News, they have yet to release a statement about the report.

Addressing hate speech on social media has been a prominent issue as racial tensions across the country have been heightened. Last month, Facebook issued an apology to a Black activist and writer who claims the social media site suspended her account for bringing attention to racism.

SOURCE: CBS News

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