Today Facebook announced that it has changed the way its advertising system works to prevent situations where ads are displayed alongside controversial pages and groups.
Although the social network already has strict review and removal policies for content against its terms, Facebook will implement a new review process for determining which pages and groups should feature ads alongside their content.
The decision is in response to British broadcaster BSkyB and retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S), both of which suspended part of their advertising on Facebook over concerns of their ads showing up on Pages with inappropriate content.
The new process, which goes into effect on Monday, will “expand the scope” of pages and groups that should be ad-restricted. By the end of the week, Facebook will remove ads from all pages and groups that fall into the new restricted list.
For example, the company will restrict ads from appearing next to pages and groups that contain any violent, graphic, or sexual content. Previously, 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.
Facebook noted that although this process will be manual at first — in an effort to be thorough — it plans to build a more scalable, automated way to prevent and/or remove ads appearing next to controversial content in the future.
“All of this will improve detection of what qualifies as questionable content,” explained Facebook, “which means we’ll do a better job making sure advertising messages appear next to brand-appropriate pages and groups.”
It isn’t clear what kind of impact this will have on the pages and groups with questionable content, but Facebook hopes the new process will result in benefits to consumers and marketers.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.