Mars' Response to the Spread of Hate Speech and Misinformation on Social Media
At the beginning of July, Mars paused paid advertising globally across news feed-based social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Snap and Twitter) to urge these platforms to make specific, meaningful progress in stopping the spread of hate speech and misinformation, and in allowing brands like ours the tools we need to control where our content appears. This includes:
- Auditing transparency and reporting on the effectiveness of brand safety measures these platforms already have in place.
- Giving consumers a safer experience by monitoring content and enforcing community standards that address hate speech and misinformation.
- Controlling the placement of advertising content next to sensitive and/or inappropriate content.
- Improving reporting and data to enable marketers like Mars to better control where our advertising is placed online.
Since then, we’ve worked closely with them during this pause – as an individual company and as a steering team member of the Global Alliance for Responsible Marketing (GARM). Although there is still a lot of work to be done, we’re pleased to share that each of these platforms has made significant enough progress on our key demands to merit our return to paid advertising across these platforms from Sept. 1.
We believe social networks need to be safe for everyone – consumers and brands alike – and so we’ll continue working closely with our agencies, industry and social media partners to make that goal a reality. We recognize these are complex matters. Part of the long-term solution might need to come from governments improving the legislative and regulatory framework to ensure higher standards, greater accountability and appropriate redress. In the meantime, we will monitor the platforms where we participate, and we won’t hesitate to pause our advertising again if we feel progress has stalled or regressed.