Face­book to clamp down on who can cash in on ads

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Face­book has tight­ened its rules on who can make money from ad­ver­tis­ing on its net­work, re­spond­ing to crit­i­cism that it is too sim­ple for providers of fake news and sen­sa­tional head­lines to cash in. The world’s largest so­cial net­work im­ple­mented the new stan­dards with im­me­di­ate ef­fect to make it clearer which pub­lish­ers can earn money on Face­book and with what con­tent. The new stan­dards co­in­cided with an ap­pear­ance by Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer Sheryl Sand­berg in Ger­many, one of Face­book’s tough­est crit­ics on hate speech and safe­guard­ing pri­vacy.

Face­book, to­gether with Al­pha­bet’s Google, ac­counts for around two fifths of in­ter­net ad­ver­tis­ing, which is forecast by con­sul­tancy Zenith to grow by 13 per­cent to $205 bil­lion this year - over­tak­ing tele­vi­sion as the big­gest chan­nel for com­pa­nies to pitch their wares to con­sumers.

Mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tives have crit­i­cized Face­book for fail­ing to en­sure that the dig­i­tal ads dis­trib­uted to its more than 2 bil­lion ac­tive users reach their in­tended au­di­ence.

It has also drawn crit­i­cism from ma­jor ad­ver­tis­ers for in­flat­ing its au­di­ence fig­ures and not ad­e­quately track­ing ads, which were some­times placed along­side con­tent detri­men­tal to the brands be­ing pro­moted.

Yes­ter­day, Face­book said it would seek ac­cred­i­ta­tion from the Me­dia Rat­ings Coun­cil, a US non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, for au­di­ence mea­sure­ment ser­vices. “We take very se­ri­ously our re­spon­si­bil­ity to earn and main­tain the trust of peo­ple in busi­nesses,” Sand­berg told dmexco, a ma­jor dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing gath­er­ing in Cologne. “We hear their con­cerns about safe en­vi­ron­ments, about stan­dards, about mea­sure­ment, and this is crit­i­cal to us,” she said. “We’re work­ing hard to roll things out that give you more con­trol over where your ads run, and more knowl­edge about where your ads run, be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter cam­paign.”

To make money on Face­book in fu­ture, con­tent cre­ators and pub­lish­ers will have to com­ply with its so-called com­mu­nity stan­dards, which seek to en­sure that con­tent is au­then­tic, not of­fen­sive and ad­heres to its guide­lines. Those pub­lish­ing con­tent flagged as mis­in­for­ma­tion or false news may be ruled in­el­i­gi­ble to profit from Face­book, as would cre­ators of click­bait and sen­sa­tion­al­ism, ac­cord­ing to the rules seen by Reuters.

Face­book’s guide­lines for mon­e­ti­za­tion give broad def­i­ni­tions of con­tent that would be dis­al­lowed - in­clud­ing “fam­ily en­ter­tain­ment char­ac­ters en­gaged in vi­o­lent, sex­u­al­ized, or oth­er­wise in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­ior”.

Also cov­ered are depic­tions of death, ca­su­al­ties and phys­i­cal in­juries in tragedies such as nat­u­ral dis­as­ters; and con­tent that is in­cen­di­ary, in­flam­ma­tory, de­mean­ing or dis­parag­ing to­wards peo­ple or groups. Face­book said it will pro­vide post-cam­paign feed­back to ad­ver­tis­ers that clearly iden­ti­fies the pub­lish­ers that ran their ads. Face­book will also step up its mon­i­tor­ing of hate speech, adding 3,000 con­tent re­view­ers to nearly dou­ble the size of its ex­ist­ing team, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent for Global Mar­ket­ing So­lu­tions Carolyn Ever­son said in a blog post. “As soon as we de­ter­mine that con­tent has breached our com­mu­nity stan­dards, we re­move it. With a com­mu­nity as large as Face­book, how­ever, zero tol­er­ance can­not mean zero oc­cur­rence,” she said.

Ger­many has led the way in de­mand­ing ac­tion on hate speech. Its par­lia­ment passed a law in June to in­tro­duce fines of up to 50 mil­lion eu­ros ($60 mil­lion) for so­cial me­dia net­works if they fail to re­move hate­ful post­ings promptly. — Reuters

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