New Facebook Policy Nixes Ads on Pages Selling Adult Products

LOS ANGELES—Facebook today announced the implementation of a new review process “for determining which Pages and Groups should feature ads alongside their content.” Under the new regime, ads will no longer be allowed to appear on pages selling adult products.

The policy and process change comes following complaints that “advertisements were showing up on pages with particularly vile content,” Bloomberg reported. Some mainstream brands started pulling ads, and that's when Facebook promised action, which it is now implementing. Coincidentally, Google Blogger has also announced plans to hinder the monetization of adult blogs.

“We know that marketers work hard to promote their brands, and we take their objectives seriously,” Facebook said today. “While we already have rigorous review and removal policies for content against our terms, we recognize we need to do more to prevent situations where ads are displayed alongside controversial Pages and Groups. So we are taking action.

“Beginning on Monday,” it added, “we will implement a new review process for determining which Pages and Groups should feature ads alongside their content. This process will expand the scope of Pages and Groups that should be ad-restricted. By the end of the week, we will remove ads from all Pages and Groups that fall into this new, more expansive restricted list.

“For example," the blog post continued, "we will now seek to restrict ads from appearing next to Pages and Groups that contain any violent, graphic or sexual content (content that does not violate our community standards). Prior to this change, a Page selling adult products was eligible to have ads appear on its right-hand side; now there will not be ads displayed next to this type of content.”

The Community Standards for Nudity and Pornography state: "Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo's David or family photos of a child breastfeeding." 

Facebook also announced today that the current manual review process will soon give way to an automated process that provides “a more scalable, automated way to prevent and/or remove ads appearing next to controversial content.”

The new policies and automated spiders, it promises, “will improve detection of what qualifies as questionable content, which means we’ll do a better job making sure advertising messages appear next to brand-appropriate Pages and Groups. While these changes won't have a meaningful impact on Facebook's business, they will result in benefits to people and marketers.”

We shall see. Bloomberg is already calling the robotic spiders “censors,” and asks if they will “know porn when they see it.”