Facebook outlines its advertising policies, begging users to believe their privacy is respected
Facebook is accustomed to criticism, and it's no different when it comes to advertising. There's been a lot of talk about advertising on the social network recently, not least because of concerns about Russian ads being used to influence the outcome of the US election.
In its latest attempt to calm fears that may have built up around its advertising platform, Facebook has today set out its advertising principles. This sees the company explaining the ethics behind ads, as well as seeking to reassure users that their privacy is protected and respected at all times.
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In a news release, Facebook makes the self-effacing claim that its ads operate on an auction system which "prioritizes what's most relevant to you, rather than how much money Facebook will make from any given ad." The company goes on to say that users are in full control of the ads they see, but it feels as though the primary purpose of the statement is to get people talking about privacy.
We don't sell personal information like your name, Facebook posts, email address, or phone number to anyone. Protecting people's privacy is central to how we've designed our ad system. This means we can show you relevant and useful ads -- and provide advertisers with meaningful data about the performance of their ads -- without advertisers learning who you are.
The company also makes reference to its recently-launched ad transparency tool, and points out that advertising on the social network is for small businesses as well as big names. Facebook is also desperate that people see that it is pro-actively tackling offensive and discriminatory ads:
We have Community Standards that prohibit hate speech, bullying, intimidation and other kinds of harmful behavior. We hold advertisers to even stricter advertising policies to protect you from things like discriminatory ads -- and we have recently tightened our ad policies even further. We don't want advertising to be used for hate or discrimination, and our policies reflect that. We review many ads proactively using automated and manual tools, and reactively when people hide, block or mark ads as offensive.