FACEBOOK SCRAMBLE TO REMOVE ADS FROM OFFENSIVE CONTENT – Google was recently exposed in profiteering from child pornography and terrorist related content on their servers and yet the issue appeared to slip quietly into the night.
At the time of the controversy it was revealed that the likes of Vodaphone advertisements were appearing on some of the vilest content on the web. Vodaphone was quick to respond by saying they had little control over where their advertisements appear but assured the public they would work with Google in order to ensure their company wasn’t associated with such vile content.
Again, there appears to be have been little or no follow up and this morning I undertook a search on YouTube for terrorist related material and not only was it available in abundance it also carried a number of advertisements from well known and highly respected brand names.
I have to conclude that Google appears to have again ignored public sentiment and the wishes of its advertisers in order to continue profiteering from some of such content available on the internet; the message appears clear in that Google appears unconcerned providing it makes a profit.
We now move onto Facebook who has been fighting an uphill battle with its shareholders since its IPO in 2012 where shares opened at $38 but quickly fell below $20 within the space of a few weeks.
Facebook has been struggling and its advertising revenue is not what most shareholders would have expected considering its vast network of users.
Facebook this week faced more controversy as two major UK companies, Marks & Spenser and BSKYB boycotted Facebook advertising as it became aware that their brands were being promoted on adult content throughout Facebook’s network.
Both companies issued statements of a similar ilk in that they had serious concerns about their brands’ names appearing on ‘inappropriate content’ and were therefore forced to suspend all advertising on Facebook until such a time where the company could guarantee that their advertising did not appear on such content.
Yesterday Facebook acknowledged the problem and unveiled a radical overhaul of its advertising operations in order to prevent further hemorrhaging of corporate advertisers.
Facebook has also held talks with Marks & Spencer and BSKYB in order to work with them in detailing content that they are willing to feature.
For Facebook to overhaul its advertising systems will take a mammoth effort considering the complexities as to what its users are adding; almost without any checks to the content.
Facebook announced that the decision will see tens of thousands of pages being stripped of advertising and shareholders are concerned that the company could well see a huge dent in its already troubled revenue stream.
It was a number of loyal customers who alerted both M&S and BSKYB that their advertisements were being posted alongside ‘teen pornography’.
The advertising industry, to the likes of Google and Facebook, is worth billions in annual profits but as both continue to allow the indexing of very questionable content and in turn monetizes such content it is likely that we will see more companies pulling out of advertising until both companies can assure their advertisers that their brands will not appear on anything that will reflect badly on their image.
Should Facebook and Google take steps to eradicated vile content being added to their servers? Should more companies cease their advertising activities with them until they comply? Please leave your comments below.