Facebook has now revealed a new advertising policy aimed at both ensuring that advertisers are honest and that its users are only presented with high-rated businesses. Specifically, the new policy will apply to businesses that advertise on the social network for products or services. Prior to the new policy, the company’s policies didn’t protect users from bad experiences once they’d left the official Facebook site or app. With the new policy, those experiences will be rateable and covered by the company’s policies. That’s all made possible thanks to a brand new tool being rolled out globally as of June 12, which will allow Facebook users to rate and review businesses they’ve made purchases from. Businesses who frequently receive negative feedback or who receive a majority of negative feedback will be contacted by Facebook with recommendations to help them get their rating up. Repeat offenders will have their advertising scaled back over time and eventually, if things don’t change, the advertiser will be banned.
Primarily, the tool is intended to bring an end to advertising that is misleading or outright false – whether that applies to prices of products and services or shipping rates. In order to access the tool, users just need to navigate to Facebook’s Ads Activity tab. The tab will show any and all ads recently clicked on by the user, which should make it easier to find the specific ad they want to rate. Once the appropriate ad is found and clicked, the user can choose to “Leave Feedback,” and fill out a short questionnaire. Presumably, the feedback will be anonymized and analyzed collectively but that hasn’t been clarified. The company also hasn’t clarified as to whether or not businesses will be given any protections against illegitimate reviews. The tool is available on both web and mobile platforms.
This policy change follows a wave of recent changes made by the company as it continues trying to wrap up its widely publicized Cambridge Analytica scandal and subsequent investigations. Among other things, those have included a new child and teen-friendly site aimed at helping younger users protect themselves online and other changes to ensure that it is transparent about data collection and use. While this policy won’t necessarily keep users’ data safe but it will help whittle away at the number of illegitimate or bad advertisers on the site. Given that Facebook’s primary means of income is advertisers, that should make the entire experience better for everybody.