NEWS23 September 2020

Platforms and advertisers agree on hate speech commitment

Europe Media News North America Technology UK

GLOBAL – Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have agreed to adopt a common set of definitions for hate speech and harmful content through an initiative led by the World Federation of Advertisers.

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As part of the agreement, the platforms have agreed to enforce definitions set by the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) as part of their advertising content standards.

GARM was founded and led by the WFA and is supported by trade bodies including ANA, Isba and the 4As. The group has been working to define harmful content since November 2019 and the definitions have been developed to add more depth pertaining to specific types of harm such as hate speech and bullying.

The platforms have agreed to develop GARM reporting standards on such content and harmonise their metrics on consumer safety, advertiser safety and platform effectiveness.

The system of harmonised metrics and reporting formats is set to launch in the second half of 2021.

They will also commit to have independent oversight on operations and reporting, and to developing tools to better manage advertising adjacency i.e. ads appearing next to content deemed harmful.

Each platform has agreed on individual timelines to implement across the different areas, however these timelines have not been disclosed.

Stephan Loerke, chief executive, WFA, said: “The issue of harmful content online has become one of the challenges of our generation. As funders of the online ecosystem, advertisers have a critical role to play in driving positive change and we are pleased to have reached agreement with the platforms on an action plan and timeline in order to make the necessary improvements.”