Facebook Inc admitted its systems to remove hate speech haven't worked as well as the company had hoped, amid reports that advertisers were pulling their brands off the social network in the face of a backlash from women's groups.
In a blog post by
its safety team late Tuesday, the company acknowledged there had been problems
with removing content that would be considered examples of gender-based
"We have been working over the past several months to improve our
systems to respond to reports of violations, but the guidelines used by these
systems have failed to capture all the content that violates our standards. We
need to do better - and we will," the company said in the post.
British edition of MediaWeek reported on Wednesday that at least 13 brands
pulled ads from Facebook in the wake of the campaign. The New York Times cited
Japanese automaker Nissan as saying it had pulled all advertising off the social
network until it received assurances that its ads would not appear alongside
On Wednesday, Nissan spokesman David Reuter clarified
that the company had asked Facebook to remove its ads from offensive pages that
were visited by targeted users, and only from the British version of the social
network. He said the automaker was not changing its advertising strategy with
Facebook, with which it maintained a good relationship.
In its blog post
on Tuesday, Facebook said it would update the guidelines used to evaluate hate
speech, and would encourage existing online anti-hate groups to add
representatives of women's organizations as well.
Last week, a group
called Women, Action & the Media released an open letter to Facebook, urging
the company to improve its response to content that "trivializes or glorifies
violence against girls or women."
They also called for Facebook members
to contact advertisers whose ads appeared next to such