Facebook to restrict ads on 'controversial' pages after #fbrape uproar

Facebook is to restrict the types of pages carrying advertising, after a global backlash against ads appearing on pages which encourage domestic violence.

Facebook: addresses advertisers concerns
Facebook: addresses advertisers concerns

From today (1 July), Facebook will implement a new review process for determining which pages and groups should feature ads alongside their content.

The social network will look to restrict ads from appearing next to pages and groups that contain any "violent, graphic or sexual" content. It aims to remove ads from any such pages by the end of the week.

It follows a campaign by groups such as The Everyday Sexism Project, which have pressured brands to pull their ads from Facebook when they appeared next to content encouraging violence against women.

Brands including Nissan and Nationwide pulled their ads from Facebook after more than 50,000 tweets were sent using the hashtag #fbrape. Other brand owners such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble have come under pressure from campaigners.

In a statement, Facebook said it is attempting to strike a balance between preserving the freedom to share with protecting users and brands from certain types of content.

Facebook said: "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 recognise we need to do more to prevent situations where ads are displayed alongside controversial pages and groups.

"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 the immediate steps we’re taking will result in a significantly improved approach to preventing these instances from occurring."

Six marketing lessons from the #fbrape campaign

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