WFA Calls On Brands To Pressure Social Networks Over Malicious Content

The World Federation of Advertisers called on all brands globally to hold social-media platforms accountable in light of recent failures to block “dangerous and hateful content.”

The call to action comes less than two weeks after the tragic mass killing in New Zealand, during which the alleged shooter is said to have streamed part of his horrific act on Facebook Live.

The WFA made the call to action at the organization’s Global Marketer Conference, ongoing in Lisbon.

While noting that individual companies will decide their own approaches, the group also believes pressure from marketers globally is necessary to achieve change.

The leverage that marketers have is the power of the purse — they spend billions supporting social platforms in order to promote brands and sell products. But those efforts should be subservient to the industry’s moral obligation to help rid the digital ecosystem of malicious content, the group asserted.



“The influence of online platforms in shaping cultures and mobilizing communities around the world is already significant and growing ever more so,” said Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Mastercard and WFA President.

“This means brands and platforms must assume a higher level of responsibility to ensure these online environments are forces for good, not conflict or violence. That begins with acknowledging flaws and quickly investing in lasting solutions. To drive change we need less debate and more action.” 

Well, I’ll bet if advertisers stopped buying ads on Facebook, the social network would figure out surefire ways to prevent live streams of horrendous acts like the New Zealand massacre. Same with YouTube and others.  

No doubt a solution here is complicated. But hey, that’s why the big brains at Facebook and other social platforms get paid the big bucks, right?

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