Facebook ad ban: What that means for medical research recruitment

Facebook is implementing a ban on advertisers targeting patients with messages based on their health conditions, according to Politico.

The ban will go into effect Jan. 19 and is part of a movement trying to remove ad targeting for "sensitive" topics, but critics of the ban say it might come with side effects to biomedical research, Politico reported Jan. 2. 

Some recruiters have used Facebook to find participants for clinical trials, and with the ban, recruiters say this will become harder, as the platform was an effective way to enlist patients.

Under the new policy, recruiters will not be able to target individuals who interacted with certain medical content, but can target individuals with a certain ZIP code. 

Matt Walz, CEO of recruitment firm Trialbee, told Politico that he thought half of all trials, "if not more," rely on Facebook recruitment. 

Facebook has said the decision is a way to prevent abuse on the platform.

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