Facebook has responded to Unilever’s threat to pull advertising if tech companies allow their platforms to “breed division” by backing a collaborative approach to the issue.
Unilever marketing chief Keith Weed used a keynote speech at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in Palm Desert, California, to raise serious concerns over the spread of illegal and extremist content online.
He said: “We cannot continue to prop up a digital supply chain – one that delivers over a quarter of our advertising to our consumers – which at times is little better than a swamp in terms of its transparency.
“Fake news, racism, sexism, terrorists spreading messages of hate, toxic content directed at children – parts of the Internet we have ended up with is a million miles from where we thought it would take us.”
Unlike Procter & Gamble’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard, who used the same platform to launch a stinging attack on tech platforms last year, Weed has called for a collaborative approach from Facebook, Google, Twitter, Snap and Amazon.
Speaking at the same conference, Facebook’s head of news feed Adam Mosseri, said: “We think the commitment by such a large advertiser on these issues is great, it’s a great thing. It’s on us to make sure we deliver and meet whatever expectations that they have, but we commend the announcement.”
Facebook head of news partnerships Campbell Brown added that the group is making steps to “better define quality sources of news, and ensure that that’s what gets the most visibility in feeds”.
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