Publisher concern over their content being misrepresented on Facebook isn’t surprising, especially given the platform’s rocky relationship with spreading fake news and other misleading content.
According to the latest marketing update, The Journal pointed to a few examples of marketers manipulating copy for their own purposes: A Business Insider article on the mattress company Casper, for example, appeared with the headline: “I bought a bed from the Target-backed ‘Warby Parker of mattresses’ and I’ll never buy one in stores again.”
Casper promoted that link, but with a different headline: “How Casper is Revolutionizing the Way We Sleep.” Last year, BuzzFeed published an article about the Quip toothbrush with the title, “I Tried The Hipster Toothbrush That’s All Over Facebook And TBH I Loved It”. But Quip bought Facebook ads that edited out “hipster” and “TBH.”
Facebook might be costing itself some serious ad dollars with the policy shift, which could come as a blow as ad load growth continues to stagnate. A marketer at Quip told the Journal that the brand might be less likely to spend on ads promoting publisher content, stating that those posts are often “unusable in their natural form.”
Still, Facebook has been taking a number of steps to better monitor the types of content shared on its platform and how they relate to advertisers. Earlier this week, it unveiled new Content Guidelines for Monetization that provide eligibility standards about what can and can’t be monetized through advertising, a signal that it supports brand safety and wants to provide more clarity to publishers, creators and brands.
The move is part of broader effort to clean up the digital space as concerned advertisers peel back their spend with the channel. Those concerns could still ramp up given the ProPublica news, which suggests that, despite Facebook’s best efforts, hate-related content still slips through the cracks.
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