Vodafone takes a stand

By Teamspirit on Tuesday, 6 June 2017

In an apparent industry first, Vodafone has announced a new global policy to prevent its advertising appearing on fake news and hate speech websites.

The telecoms company, which spends half of it’s £750m global ad spend on digital advertising, is creating a whitelist of sites on which it will allow its ads to run.

While still working in conjunction with Facebook and Google’s attempts to automate blocking serving ads on problematic sites, Vodafone has committed itself to using human judgement rather than just relying on algorithms to decide which websites align with the company’s own principles.

Vodafone’s current definition of hate speech includes content that is deliberately intended to ‘degrade women or vulnerable minorities’ as well as content with general violent and extremist intent.

It defines fake news as content that is ‘presented as fact-based news that has no credible primary source (or relies on fraudulent attribution to a primary source).’

With the seemingly unstoppable rise of fake news and hate speech sites, we think it will only be a matter of time before more brands take an active role in managing how and where their advertising is seen by consumers, so that they can be confident that it isn’t doing their credibility – and profits – more harm than good.

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