Facebook’s MRC brand safety audit gets underway — but it doesn’t yet include the news feed

Digiday 16 Oct 2020 04:01
October 16, 2020 by Lara O'Reilly

Facebook has agreed on the scope of its brand safety audit by the Media Rating Council, though the initial phase, which is currently getting underway, will not include the social network’s news feed.

Facebook first committed to the MRC brand safety audit in late June amid growing pressure from advertisers and campaign groups to take more effective action against the spread of hate speech and misinformation on its platform. More than 1,200 companies participated in the July “Stop Hate for Profit” advertiser boycott, according to the protest’s organizers.

An MRC accreditation is seen as an important industry stamp of approval to indicate a platform’s internal controls and measurement systems can be trusted to work effectively and without bias. 

The initial scope of the new audit will assess the brand safety processes applied to monetized ad placements within Facebook and Instagram, alongside the metrics reported in its advertiser delivery report.

It does not, however, include an assessment of Facebook’s advertiser adjacency controls for content that appears on its news feed. It also will not, at this stage, look at how Facebook’s brand safety controls are applied to ads delivered on the Facebook Audience Network.

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