Facebook has once again come under fire for its content policy, which many organizations, companies, and users say is too lax in light of hate speech and violent content. Earlier this month, the social network finally banned videos of decapitations, but has still allowed large quantities of controversial content – many of it gender-based, according to some organizations – to persist. For this reason, more than a dozen big-name companies have pulled their advertisements from the social network.
Yesterday, Facebook announced that, in light of the latest round of criticism, it will be making changes to its content policy immediately, which includes revising the materials its review team uses to evaluate content, training its team on the new guidelines, establishing a better communication with organizations, and holding users more responsible for controversial content that is allowed to remain on the site.
While such changes are welcome and are earning it praise from some organizations and users, it is presently a case of “too little, too late,” with over 12 advertisers removing their advertisements from the social network because they were being displayed next to offensive, controversial, and hateful content. Nissan is perhaps the most notable company on the list, with the auto maker saying it will put ads back on the website when Facebook implements the changes it announced yesterday.
According to the Associated Press, many Facebook advertisers were slammed with in excess of 5,000 emails collectively on the behest of a campaign started by Women, Action and the Media. According to the organization, much of the objectionable content on Facebook being allowed to remain focused on endorsing and mocking violence of various natures against women and children, among others.
Women, Action and Media’s Executive Director Jaclyn Friedman said of Facebook’s announced changes yesterday: “We are thrilled with the commitment [the social network] made. It’s about stepping up and being the industry leader that they already are.” According to Facebook, the changes it outlined are going into effect immediately.