Facebook Takes Steps To Identify Pages, Groups That Should Not Feature Ads Due To Their Content

By David Cohen 

Facebook is taking steps to avoid situations where brands find their advertising placed next to content they find objectionable, announcing in a post on its Newsroom that it will implement a new review policy Monday regarding which pages and groups are suitable for advertising to appear next to their content.

One of the most prominent changes the social network is making is no longer displaying right-hand-side ads on pages that sell adult products.

Facebook said the process would be manual at first, cautioning users, “We’re not going to be perfect, but we’ll be much better.”

Its announcement read:

Facebook is a place for people to connect and share. It’s also a place where businesses can connect and share content with the people who love their brands. Our goal is to both preserve the freedoms of sharing on Facebook, but also protect people and brands from certain types of content.

We know that marketers work hard to promote their brands, and we take their objectives seriously. While we already have rigorous review and removal policies for content against our terms, we recognize that we need to do more to prevent situations where ads are displayed alongside controversial pages and groups. So we are taking action.

Beginning Monday, we will implement a new review process for determining which pages and groups should feature ads alongside their content. This process will expand the scope of pages and groups that should be ad-restricted. By the end of the week, we will remove ads from all pages and groups that fall into this new, more expansive restricted list.

For example, we will now seek to restrict ads from appearing next to pages and groups that contain any violent, graphic, or sexual content (content that does not violate our community standards). Prior to this change, a page selling adult products was eligible to have ads appear on its right-hand side; now there will not be ads displayed next to this type of content.

In order to be thorough, this review process will be manual at first, but in the coming weeks, we will build a more scalable, automated way to prevent and/or remove ads appearing next to controversial content. All of this will improve detection of what qualifies as questionable content, which means we’ll do a better job making sure advertising messages appear next to brand-appropriate pages and groups. While these changes won’t have a meaningful impact on Facebook’s business, they will result in benefits to people and marketers.

Like any digital platform, we’re not going to be perfect, but we will be much better. We’ll continue to work aggressively on this issue with advertisers. We are confident that the immediate steps we’re taking will result in a significantly improved approach to preventing these instances from occurring, and we are committed to making this process work for everyone who uses Facebook.

Readers: What do you think of Facebook’s new review process?

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