Facebook Developing Content Tools After Advertiser Outrage

Facebook said it is developing “topic exclusion” tools to help advertisers control what content is displayed near their advertisements.

The company said it would allow advertisers to select topics such as “Crime and Tragedy” that it didn’t want displayed near their ads.

“That selection would help define how we’ll show the ad on Facebook, including News Feed,” Facebook said in a blog post.

It said development of the tools would take “much of the year”.

Can more data save our climate?


The move comes after large advertisers such as Coca-Cola and Starbucks, along with more than 1,100 others, temporarily pulled their ads from Facebook last July over concerns the platform wasn’t doing enough to curb hate speech, misinformation and other harmful content.

The move followed the death of George Floyd, a US black man, in police custody.

This prompted calls by civil rights advocates for companies to rethink their support for Facebook, which they argued was allowing hate speech and misinformation to spread relatively unchecked.

In September Facebook, along with YouTube and Twitter, signed a deal with big advertisers through the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) to establish standards defining hate speech and other harmful content.

Advertisers do not want to be seen as supporting the spread of such content, and are particularly sensitive about their ads being displayed alongside harmful posts.

News Feed

Facebook’s News Feed is a particularly sensitive feature of the service, as it can contain content or posts by users that advertisers feel is objectionable.

The News Feed is also Facebook’s most important ad placement area, helping it to expand its ad revenues to about $84.17 billion (£61bn) in 2020.

Facebook and other large internet platforms are also under pressure by European governments over hate speech and other harmful content.

The European Commission in December introduced proposed legislation that would, amongst other things, force large platforms to take more responsibility for such content.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

Recent Posts

Signal Shows Data Collection Adverts Facebook Rejected

Signal has had user-targetted adverts on Instagram blocked, as messaging service attempts to highlight Facebook…

5 hours ago

Oversight Board Upholds Trump’s Facebook Suspension

Bad news for Donald. Facebook's 'Supreme Court' upholds suspension of Donald Trump account, but asks…

7 hours ago

US Presses TSMC For More Chips For Car Makers

Global silicon shortage continues, as US Commerce Department presses Taiwanese chipmakers to ease the supply…

8 hours ago

Starlink Signs Up 500,000 Pre-Orders For Satellite Internet

Elon Musk space venture SpaceX has already signed 500,000 customers on pre-order for its Starlink…

10 hours ago

Apple Vs Epic Games Court Battle Continues

Second day of courtroom showdown in the US reveals Epic Games management would have accepted…

12 hours ago

Trump Launches ‘Communications’ Website

Banned from social media for instigating US Capitol riot, Trump launches 'straight from the desk'…

13 hours ago