Facebook To Stop Displaying Ads On Violent Or Sexually Explicit Pages
June 29, 2013

Facebook To Pull Ads From Pages With Graphic Or Controversial Content

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Facebook has announced that it will no longer allow advertisements to appear on pages that include sexual, violent or other types of graphic content, various media outlets reported on Friday.

According to Alexei Oreskovic of Reuters, the decision comes approximately one month after several businesses pulled their ads from the social media website, citing reports of pages on Facebook that promoted violence against women.

"Facebook said at the time that it needed to improve its system for flagging and removing content that violated its community standards, which forbid users from posting content about hate-speech, threats and pornography, among other things," Oreskovic said. "Ads account for roughly 85 percent of revenue at Facebook, the world's largest social network with 1.1 billion users. Facebook said the changes would not have a meaningful impact on its business."

"On Friday, Facebook said it also needed to do more to prevent situations in which ads are displayed alongside material that may not run afoul of its community standards but are deemed controversial nonetheless," he added. "A Facebook page for a business that sells adult products, for example, will no longer feature ads."

Those pages had previously been allowed to feature ads along the right-hand edge of the page, provided they did not violate the social network's ban on nudity.

UK businesses Marks and Spencer (M&S) and BSkyB were among the firms who pulled advertising from Facebook after receiving complaints that the ads were appearing on pages with offensive content, said BBC News technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones.

The incident that raised the ire of the two companies involved a Sky advertisement featuring an M&S voucher promotion, Cellan-Jones said. The ad had appeared on a Facebook page known as "cute and gay boys" that featured photographs of male teenagers.

The social network said that they intend to launch a manual review of every "potentially controversial" group or page to ensure that ad campaigns no longer appear on them going forward, said Mark Sweney of The Guardian.

That review is expected to be completed by the end of next week, and it is anticipated that it will result in "a greatly expanded restricted list of pages and groups where ads are blocked will be created," he added.

"Prior to this change, a page selling adult products was eligible to have ads appear on its right-hand side; now there will not be ads displayed next to this type of content," Facebook said in a statement, according to Sweney. "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 recognize we need to do more to prevent situations where ads are displayed alongside controversial Pages and Groups."