Facebook wants some regulation—at least on brand safety
Facebook welcomes a little regulation, at least if it helps end its brand-safety problems.
“We want regulation in the areas of brand safety and content moderation,” said Carolyn Everson, vice president of global marketing solutions, speaking on Tuesday at an event kicking off the Global Alliance for Responsible Media at WPP Beach in Cannes. “Think about how difficult it is to define hate speech. I could walk around here … and everyone could have a different definition of hate speech. Should Facebook decide? Should Google? Should Twitter? Probably not. But that’s an area where regulation could help.”
Marketers involved in the alliance don’t want to decide either. In an interview after the presentation, Rob Rakowitz, head of global media at Mars, said groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Anti-Defamation League probably should weigh in.
Organizers painted a picture of how the alliance might work—beyond giving the appearance that big advertisers, agency media-buying groups and media players are trying to drain the social media swamp of hate speech, terrorist funding, pedophilia and other horrors. Rakowitz said the group would meet at least monthly, working groups more often, to the end of delivering concrete results.
Getting the leading social media players to cooperate could help, Everson said. “We think there needs to be an industry standard for reporting on bad content, what AI detects, what gets through, the time to take it down and the risk to advertisers.” She said that Facebook wants to share information with Google and Twitter “on these threats to the industry.”
“We have fundamentally changed the culture of Facebook,” she said, with news about the manipulation of the platform to influence the 2016 U.S. election as the catalyst. Facebook now has 30,000 people working on safety and security, she said, up from 3,000 a few years ago.
Rakowitz and Luis Di Como, executive vice president, global media for Unilever, said that they’re pushing for reform in part to keep their ad dollars from funding terrorists or hate groups, and largely out of concern for the safety of their own kids.
“To me, I boiled this down to, as a human being and father of two kids; what I want in two years time is to ensure that my kids are safe,” Di Como said. “And, I’m not there yet.”