Facebook has stated that it will subject itself to an audit pertaining to the management of hate speech controls, according to Reuters. This action is being taken to alleviate concerns of advertisers amidst calls for a boycott of the platform, as major advertisers, namely Unilever and Starbucks, have signed on the "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign initiated by the civil rights groups, which are urging brands to put their Facebook ads on hold until the Menlo Park firm promises to take firm action to take down hate speech.
Media Rating Council (MRC), a nonprofit organization that manages accreditation for media research and rating purposes, will conduct the audit, and evaluate how the firm safeguards advertisers from appearing next to harmful content. Additionally, the firm will assess the accuracy of Facebook's reporting in specific domains. Facebook hasn't decided when the audit will take place or what will be its scope.
Facebook hosted a call with advertisers today, informing them that a new data point will be inserted regarding hate speech in its Community Standards Enforcement Report, which details how the firm takes down content that violates policy. The Media Kitchen's CEO, Barry Lowenthal, who was present during the call, said that although Facebook has taken numerous steps to crack down on hate speech, the problem has become so large that drastic measures are required to fix it. He stated:
“Maybe they should hit pause on the platform entirely. How much more can society handle?”
Facebook is taking measures to combat misinformation, which include revamping the News Feed to prioritize original reporting. The firm believes that doing so will result in increased distribution of credible news.