Last night (28 May) Facebook committed to a five-point safety programme to tackle hate speech on the site following a week-long campaign from women’s activist groups that challenged advertisers to contact the social network over their ads appearing against offensive pages, such as those which made light of domestic violence and incited gender-based hate.
The campaign led to major brands including Nationwide and Nissan and some 13 other advertisers pulling ad campaigns from the site. Nissan has since resumed advertising on the social network but Nationwide’s Facebook advertising remains suspended.
A Nationwide spokesman says: “Nationwide advertising on Facebook remains suspended. However, we welcome the initial commitments made by Facebook yesterday (28 May) to continue to improve their responses to violations of standards.
“As a responsible and trusted consumer brand, we do feel that sites like Facebook should have stringent processes and guidelines in place to ensure that brands are able to protect themselves from appearing alongside inappropriate content.”
Women, Action and the Media – one of the groups that lobbied Facebook to take action to end gender-based hate speech on the site – said in a statement last night (28 May) “Facebook has admirably done more than most other companies to address this topic in regards to content policy”.
The group added Facebook’s commitment to countering hate speech “will mark a historic transition in relation to media and women’s rights in which Facebook is acknowledged as a leader in fostering safer, genuinely inclusive online communities, setting industry precedents for others to follow”.
A Facebook spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
Ad misplacement is an issue across the web and in April marketing trade bodies voiced concerns over delays in agreeing a cross-industry initiative aimed at protecting brands from the reputational damage it can cause.