Twitter’s Sarah Personette Talks All Things Brand Safety

The social network’s chief customer officer emphasizes a priority on healthy conversation

Sarah Personette’s key takeaways were, 'Educate, collaborate and prioritize.'Twitter

Twitter chief customer officer Sarah Personette took to the Brandweek “stage” this week to discuss the social network’s commitment to brand safety and steps it is putting in place to keep conversations on its platform authentic and healthy.

“The health of the conversation became our No. 1 priority about four years ago,” Personette said. “This has been a critical investment for a while. You’re seeing so much more innovation overall.”

She stressed the industry’s need to collaborate and take on brand safety issues together, noting Twitter’s work with advertising industry organizations such as 4A’s and the IAB, as well as with online watch group entities including the Digital Trust and Safety Partnership and the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism.

The company also committed to audits across all four accreditation focus areas from the Media Rating Council: audience measurement, brand safety, sophisticated invalid traffic filtration and viewability.

And Twitter cited recent research from OpenSlate, which found that 100% of the roughly 455,000 pre-roll videos monetized via the premium Twitter Amplify program for publishers met the Global Alliance For Responsible Media’s brand safety standards.

“We know that healthy conversations can sometimes be derailed by unwanted replies,” Personette said. “Conversation settings for ads enable advertisers to choose who can reply to their conversation. Curated categories provide advertisers with greater contextual control over the types of publishers they run ads against. Twitter manually reviews all publications that ads are allowed to run against. It is super-important that we are getting brand safety right for all of you.”

Twitter has been taking steps to keep misinformation off its platform, as well, including labeling potentially problematic tweets and rolling out its Birdwatch pilot, which enables participating users to add context to tweets.

“Brands will be able to facilitate genuine engagement and experiences with their dedicated followers, but the unfiltered nature of these conversations can sometimes be complicated,” Personette said. “Voices can evolve quickly, and conversations can get heated. We are extremely committed to protecting the health of public conversation. Conversations should be safe and free from harassment, abuse and misinformation.”

On that note, the social network is experimenting with features such as Safety Mode, which uses Twitter’s machine learning systems to temporarily block accounts for using potentially harmful language or repeated unwanted replies.

Personette’s key takeaways were, “Educate, collaborate and prioritize.”

She mentioned the quick pace of change in the industry and suggested that advertisers ensure that they are “up to speed on the latest innovations and policies related to brand safety across the entire social media landscape.”

Referring to the work with organizations Personette mentioned earlier, she encouraged more collaboration and discussion about creating a healthy environment for each platform, adding, “There is no one singular team that can solve this problem. How powerful it is when we all work together.”

Finally, as for Twitter’s priorities, she said the company will continue its push to give more control to both users and advertisers while ensuring that all voices are participating in the discussion and being heard, concluding, “Brand safety is human safety.”

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