Facebook has announced it’s working on “topic exclusion controls” with a group of advertisers to ensure ads don’t appear on the News Feed next to certain topics. Facebook said Friday that while developing these tools, it will also build in “safeguards to protect people’s privacy.”
Advertisers are working with the social media site on tailoring topics to avoid in the News Feed. Advertisers will be able to select which topics to keep their ads away from, with Facebook saying a children’s toy company could select not to be shown near “crime and tragedy” news.
Facebook, along with players such as Google’s YouTube and Twitter, have been working with marketers and agencies through a group called the Global Alliance for Responsible Media, or GARM, to develop standards in this area. They’ve been working on actions that help “consumer and advertiser safety,” including outlining definitions of harmful content, standards for reporting, independent oversight and agreeing to make tools that better manage ad adjacency.
The concept of “brand safety” is important to any advertiser that wants to make sure their company’s ads aren’t in proximity to certain topics. But there’s also been a growing push from the ad industry to make platforms such as Facebook safer not just near their ad placements.
The testing phase will take most of 2021, the social media platform said.