Facebook removing ads from controversial Pages

The social network would prefer if advertisers' messages appeared only alongside brand-appropriate content, which means no more ads on Pages that hawk adult products.

Jennifer Van Grove Former Senior Writer / News
Jennifer Van Grove covered the social beat for CNET. She loves Boo the dog, CrossFit, and eating vegan. Her jokes are often in poor taste, but her articles are not.
Jennifer Van Grove
2 min read
Matt Harnack/Facebook

In an effort to appease its advertisers, Facebook plans to more aggressively remove ads from Pages and Groups that host content of a violent, graphic, or sexual nature, the social network said Friday.

The change, which will start as a manual review process and become automated over time, means the social network will actively restrict ads from appearing on the right-hand side of Groups and Pages, such as those selling adult products.

"While we already have rigorous review and removal policies for content against our terms, we recognize we need to do more to prevent situations where ads are displayed alongside controversial Pages and Groups. So we are taking action," the company said in a press release. "Beginning on Monday, we will implement a new review process for determining which Pages and Groups should feature ads alongside their content."

The social network said the point is to ensure that advertisers' messages appear next to brand-appropriate Pages and Groups. The company, which doesn't yet seem to have a clear guideline as to what's questionable and what's appropriate content, is obviously trying to cater to its more than 1 million active advertisers, whose contributions finance its operations.

The decision follows complaints from Marks and Spencer and BSkyB, two companies that threatened to suspend their Facebook advertising after sponsored messages appeared alongside objectionable content, according to the BBC. One Sky ad was reportedly shown next to a Facebook Page called "cute and gay boys," and the ad prompted a negative reaction from some brand fans.