Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Make Peace With Advertisers Over Harmful Content: FT

Facebook Inc FB, Twitter Inc TWTR, and Alphabet Inc’s GOOG GOOGL online video platform Youtube have reconciled with big advertisers over harmful content, according to a Financial Times report. 

In a bid to manage a fallout with advertisers after the boycott campaigns in July, social media platforms have agreed to implement some new content management protocols.

What Happened: In the discussion mediated through the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) led by the World Federation of Advertisers, social media platforms agreed to almost 11 common definitions for harmful content, FT reported. They also arrived at a consensus for developing a tracking mechanism for each of these categories.

GARM is supported by bodies like the Association of National Advertisers and leading brands like Unilever N.V. UL.

The common definitions will aim to improve content moderation and the new system is expected to launch sometime in the second half of next year, FT noted.

Why Does It Matter: With the newly-agreed content moderation approach, advertisers will gain an analytical advantage. The standardized data on ads from each platform could also prove useful for advertisers to perform comparative performance analysis.

On the other hand, others think that the deal has more significance for corporates instead of internet users. Marietje Schaake, former Member of Parliament in Europe and currently associated with Standford University’s Cyber Policy Center commented to FT, “This is another example of companies setting the rules where democratic governments have neglected to do so.” 

Schaake continued to say that “even if the advertisers are happy, I don’t necessarily think it’s a step in the right direction for democracy.”

Price Movement: Facebook traded 0.4% higher at $255.80 in the pre-market session Wednesday. Twitter shares were up 2.2% at $43.67 and Alphabet Class C shares traded 0.3% lower at press time.

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