Facebook Refreshes Its Privacy Principles, Twitter Followers Vanish And Facebook Bans Bitcoin Ads In This Week’s Friday Download
February 2, 2018
By FTI Consulting
January was a tough year and it looks like we won’t be the only ones breathing a sigh of relief as it came to a close, as Facebook kicked off 2018 with a series unfortunate events (check out the last issue of the Friday Download if you missed it). Yet the social platform has come out swinging this week with a set of measures to regain the public and the regulators trust.
Facebook has, for the first time since inception, revealed its privacy principles to help users retain control of their personal data. And helpfully will also launch a series of videos to educate users on managing access to their data.
The new leaf the social platform appears to be turning is a demonstration of its efforts to comply with the European Union’s general data protection regulation (GDPR) which will – as we all surely know by now – come into effect on 25th May. Facebook certainly won’t be the only ones overhauling their approach to customer data, however a key question for advertisers is, will Facebook be able to transform what critics have suggested are shady data practices in time for the new regulation.
The artificial followers are largely a product of social media marketing company Devumi, who claim to offer accelerated social growth through a “blend of marketing tactics”. However, the explosion of fake accounts has drawn scrutiny from US authorities for fraudulent activities. The disappearance of the followers suggests Twitter is equally worried and may be enacting a purge (and unlike the films we think this purge may last longer than one night only).
Yet Twitter is not the only platform which has been called into question for the proliferation of fake reputations, review sites Rated People and MyBuilder have also come under fire. An undercover investigation has revealed how easy it is for fraudulent tradespeople without any experience to advertise their services on the platforms.
As we work to build the reputations of our companies through online platforms, we must be aware of the diminution of trust that may result when the credibility of these platforms are called into question. It is also worth checking the authenticity of your own followers while you’re at it.
If Cryptocurrencies are the Wild West of finance then that makes Facebook the new sheriff in town. The social media platform has put in place a sweeping ban against binary options, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency advertisements on both Facebook and Instagram. The company has stated that the cryptocurrency industry is “not currently operating in good faith”.
Whilst Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency have soared in value over the past year, the manic buying of the new digital currencies has given rise to an increasing number of fraudulent schemes, robbing unassuming investors of their hard earnt cash. These scams had until this week used social media as their primary source of communication.
Yet Facebook’s ban may not be limited to cryptocurrency, the company stated that the move was “part of an ongoing effort to improve the integrity and security of our ads”. Therefore it will be important for all companies to pay close attention to Facebook’s advertising policies and ensure that they are operating in good faith.
As Facebook makes moves towards creating a more authentic and safer environment for its users, we are also aware that this may not always be best for their bottom-line as their recent actions against fake news has resulted in a falling dwell time on the site.
Also This Week
Instagram continues to improve its business offering with organic post scheduling – AdWeek
Gucci are becoming the trend-setters in fashion and digital with the first branded animoji – The Verge
The government has announced that companies that fail to protect themselves from cyber-attacks will face hefty fines – BBC
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting LLP, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals, members or employees.
FTI’s digital practice in EMEA operates as a centre of excellence for digital communications within the firm and is staffed by a team of practitioners with industry experience of consumer, corporate and financial communications. The team runs an active portfolio of multi-sector brands and partners with FTI’s teams and clients to provide a wide range of online reputation management services.