News24 12 January 2018 12:15:40Facebook, Google and Twitter are set to take on the US government’s proposed rules for advertising on social media platforms.
Advertisers have until February 13 to comply with the proposed rules, which are aimed at preventing online abuse and abuse of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google, in an effort to protect free speech.
They include strict bans on political advertising, and require companies to take a more aggressive stance against abuse of their platforms and content, which includes targeting users based on their ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Facebook’s rules have been criticised for failing to take into account how many of its users have visited the site and their online activities.
The company said it had already removed some of the most egregious offensive content, but it did not reveal what the exact number was.
In a blog post on Tuesday, the companies said they had not yet been able to fully implement the regulations.
“Our work on this has been a work in progress, so we’re not yet ready to share the details of what exactly we’ve done,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
“The company is committed to making sure that all of our communities have access to the information and tools they need to stay safe online, and will continue to work closely with our regulators to make sure we comply with our obligations.”
The US Justice Department, which is expected to release the rules next month, said they would help prevent online abuse.
“In a world of pervasive online abuse, we need to make it harder for people to engage in this type of harassment and violence,” the department’s statement said.
“We also know that some of these practices are often rooted in hatred and intolerance, and that if they continue unchecked, they can have real-world consequences.”
“We have a long way to go to make our platforms and communities safer for everyone, and we must take action if we want to protect those who use them,” it added.
Google said it was reviewing its policies, and Facebook was working to ensure that it was following its own guidelines.
“Google will review our ad policies to ensure they reflect our community guidelines, which include an extensive list of our core principles, and the broader principles of trust and safety, in particular for women and people of color,” a spokesperson for the search giant said.
Twitter has already suspended some users from its platform after the company found it had failed to properly enforce its own anti-abuse guidelines.
The US government is also seeking to impose sanctions on Facebook and other social media companies, arguing they are using their platforms to promote hate speech.
It will also ask US courts to order Google to remove material about the president from its site.