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Continued Action Against Deceptive Ads

November 5, 2009ByNick Gianos

As part of an ongoing effort we've had underway to address the quality of third-party ads running inside applications, we wanted to offer some clarifications, reminders, and information on our actions.

First, deceptive ads are a widespread issue on the Web and one we fight aggressively. This battle is not new and it’s far from over. We faced stimulus scam ads on our own system earlier this year and pushed them off the site with rigorous enforcement. We did the same months later when deceptive ads from third-party ad networks appeared in applications. We’re doing that again now as we see them appear in the form of offers.

Since introducing updated policies for third-party ads on Facebook Platform in July, we have disabled two entire ad networks and suspended or brought into compliance over 100 applications for ad-related violations in regions around the world, over half of which had more than one million monthly active users.

We recognize that monitoring ads isn't the first area of focus for an entrepreneur just getting started with social applications. That's why ad networks that don’t play by the rules should expect to be our first point of contact in our line of enforcement. Our policies are clear. If you're an ad network and don’t comply with them, you are doing a disservice to your customers, and you should expect your business opportunities on Facebook to cease.

In addition to legal notices that have been sent to many ad networks to mandate ongoing compliance on Facebook Platform, today we are disabling two additional offer and ad networks who have repeatedly violated our policies.

We have explicit policies on offers and inappropriate ad content. Our actions should illustrate that the issue is bigger than one ad format, and that there’s a lot of room to do more. It should be clear what matters are the ongoing actions taken when things are quiet by platforms, ad networks and developers, and not brief reactions when the market's paying attention.

In addition to steps we’ve taken to build teams and technologies devoted to this issue and continual outreach to work with members of the ecosystem on ways to improve their practices, it is the responsibility of both developers and ad networks to make sure the content running in third-party applications is appropriate.

The opportunities for high quality ads are significant, and several players are genuinely focused on sustainability and creating a user experience that builds long-term trust. There’s a reason more than 70% of our 300 million active users engage with applications each month. We expect that our joint efforts with you, our developers, will align incentives in a way that allows businesses to thrive through a consistent and aggressive focus on the user experience.

Separate from our ad policies, we encourage everyone in the community to read the simplified principles and policies we announced last week for Facebook Platform. The underlying issues here are bigger than ads. They’re about building an experience that users will want to come back to… no spam, no surprises.

If you have an advertising-related inquiry, please use the Platform Advertising Contact Form.

Nick is a member of the Platform team.