Monday, February 13, 2017

Facebook Takes Steps to Improve Advertising Data

Facebook said on Friday that it would agree to an audit of information it provides to marketers and provide them with new, more precise measurement data, less than two weeks after Procter & Gamble, America’s biggest advertiser, criticized the lack of transparency provided by digital ad platforms.

According to The NYTimes, the social network, which came under scrutiny last year for repeated inaccuracies in its tools for measuring ads, also said Friday that it would give marketers new options for buying video ads this year.

For example, marketers might pay only if an ad was viewed to completion or if the sound was on. The nonprofit Media Rating Council will conduct an audit to “verify the accuracy of the information” Facebook gives marketers, the company said in a blog post, adding that it was also working with 24 third-party measurement companies.

Facebook announced the changes after Marc S. Pritchard, the chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble, demanded that the digital ad industry “grow up,” criticizing the different ways platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, define whether an ad has been viewed and the lack of accredited outside sources used to measure digital ad performance.

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Meanwhile Reuters is reporting that Italy wants Facebook to do much more to stamp out hate speech on its site.  The president of Italy's lower house of parliament warned that rising abuse on various social media was being fueled by fake news.

Laura Boldrini
Laura Boldrini, herself often the focus of sexist insults and online threats, complained to Facebook managers in November about hate speech on the social network and put forward several proposals on ways to deal with the problem.

"Two months after our meeting, they have done nothing. They have not even written to me about what I said. Good manners would have expected at least a reply," Boldrini told Reuters in a gilded, art-filled room in the parliament building.

She said she would write an open letter to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week reiterating her call for a more effective and timely policing of his site.

"His platform risks becoming home to dangerous predators ... the company has to take responsibility for this," she said.

In a statement, Facebook said it was committed to battling hate speech and fake news, and was working closely with various institutions in Italy to deal with cyber bullying.

Facebook, Twitter, Google's YouTube and Microsoft agreed last May to an EU code of conduct to tackle online hate speech, pledging to review the majority of valid requests for removal of illegal abuse within 24 hours in Europe.

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