Facebook says they are taking steps to lift the transparency of advertisements on its platform beyond the standards of TV and print. The changes are part of ongoing efforts by Facebook to combat fake news, political interference, and terrorism, according to CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg made the announcement on the back of strong financial results and outlined further changes to the social media platform as it takes a “broader” view of its social responsibility.
The Facebook chief began a Q1 2018 earnings call by reiterating his commitment to clean up Facebook.
“For most of our existence, we’ve focused on all the good that connecting people can bring. But it’s clear now we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well, whether that’s foreign interference in elections, fake news, hate speech, or app developers and data privacy,” Zuckerberg said.
“So now, we’re going through every part of our relationship with people and making sure we’re taking a broad enough view of our responsibility, not just to build tools, but to make sure those tools are used for good. This means continuing to invest heavily in safety, security and privacy.”
Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal where facebook user data was harvested by app developers, Zuckerberg says Facebook will now be restricting the data developer can access.
Still fixing Facebook
Zuckerberg began 2018 by pledging to fix Facebook, including adjusting the much maligned newsfeed algorithm to promote more personal connections and less passive content consumption on the platform.
According to Zuckerberg, there are early signs the changes are working.
“This quarter, we’ve continued shifting from passive consumption to encouraging meaningful interaction. It’s still early, but we’re starting to see some signs that this is working. Some types of sharing are increasing even as passive consumption of video is down.”
However, when pressed on metrics for time spent on Facebook, executives declined to provide an update beyond a decrease in passive video consumption.
“We’re not really optimising the business on time spent, but rather the kind of quality of conversations and connections,” said Facebook CFO David Wehner.
“So we’re continuing to invest in that work, and we think it’s the right thing for the Facebook community in the long run. And I think it’s also good for overall engagement.”