Advertisers and social media are taking baby steps against hateful content

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Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (part of Google) have entered into agreements with advertisers worldwide to begin identifying how they can similarly measure the presence of harmful content, such as messages about drugs and terrorism, and remove it from their platforms.

Social media will develop the measurement method for malicious content in the next two months, the World Federation of Advertisers saidWFA) Wednesday. The WFA represents the advertisers, including Unilever.

The British-Dutch company was one of the parties that decided in June to boycott Facebook and Twitter by no longer advertising with the company in the United States. The company, with brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Andrélon and Unox, is estimated to spend tens of millions of euros annually on Facebook ads.

In addition to drawing up a measurement method, the WFA also wants the social media to have a plan this year to have an independent party look at the platform, or that the research will be carried out this year.

Also, platforms that don’t yet have a method to prevent advertisers from being associated with malicious messages should have a plan for doing so this year. Ultimately, this should lead to a “safe experience for consumers and brands”.

A Unilever executive says against The Financial Times that the deal with the WFA creates “the right conditions” to end Unilever’s boycott, provided it is “properly enforced”. The business paper notes that Unilever’s boycott will continue for the rest of the year, as the company previously announced.

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