You’ll see there’s a lot to unpack this week when it comes to policy, including a milestone executive order targeting competition directives for companies, to Facebook’s seemingly flying under the radar delaying its brand safety audit to the impressive appointment of a Twitter grievance officer in India. There’s a lot to track and understand when it comes to companies and policy and governance, but who’s to say TikTok‘s new policy allowing job recruitment won’t support all the new “twerk” from home policies 😉
IBM Watson Takes Aim at Algorithmic Bias…
The foundations of digital advertising are rapidly transforming with the introduction of new policies and regulations. Just last month, the world’s largest tech company sent advertisers scrambling to understand new privacy policies to improve data transparency. Now, IBM has announced a 14-person team is working to ensure ad “fairness” by identifying biases that algorithms unintentionally perpetuate through audience identification, ad delivery and optimizations. Initial auditing results from IBM’s own media indicate that advertising equity can be gained “without affecting measures such as the percentage of users who click an ad.” Additionally, despite concerns from privacy watchdogs who question allowing artificial intelligence to access patient data, the Ad Council has approved an audit of the “It’s Up To You” vaccine PSA campaign, the largest in the nonprofit’s history.
…. While Mozilla Checks on YouTube’s Own Rules
Mozilla released the results of a 10-month-long investigation into YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, which appears to violate YouTube’s own policies. Mozilla collected the crowdsourced data via the RegretsReporter extension, but kept the concept of a “regret” vague as it judged that 12.2% of reported videos violated YouTube’s own rules for content. Misinformation was the dominant category of flagged videos followed by violent and graphic content and hate speech. YouTube fired back stating that “over the past year alone, we’ve launched over 30 different changes to reduce recommendations of harmful content.”
Reinforcing Body Positivity Online
Earlier this month, Pinterest announced a policy update that would “prohibit all ads with weight loss language and imagery.” In a blog post, Pinterest reinforced that this policy continues to build on its existing ad policies against body shaming and weight loss scams, but this change is driven by a report from the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) claiming “there’s been a rise in unhealthy eating habits and eating disorders in young people since the COVID-19 pandemic started last year.”
The body positivity movement was even listed as a “topic to watch” in Facebook’s June IQ report, which stated, “Since December 2020, the number of conversations and groups created around body positivity has grown on social media. The Body Positive Movement is helping people reevaluate their relationship with their bodies and feel welcomed and accepted during a time of uncertainty.”
While Facebook hasn’t gone as far as Pinterest, its advertising policy does restrict promoting before-and-after imagery and unexpected weight loss results, and prohibits ads that generate a negative self-perception.
Will other social platforms follow in Pinterest’s footsteps to reinforce body positivity by updating their advertising policies? That’s something we’ll be keeping a close eye on.
In Other News…
A federal judge dismissed the FTC antitrust complaint against Facebook that threatened to break up the company citing that it did not accurately prove a monopoly. Legislators and regulators have to go back to the drawing board. See Forbes summary.
The travel industry is booming again as Marriott debuts its biggest campaign to date. The campaign leans into elements that would boost engagement – with quizzes, Pinterest Boards for wanderlust inspiration, and a soundtrack for TikTok travel influencers.
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