BUSINESS Facebook enforces stricter policy for addiction treatment ads


Facebook enforces stricter policy for addiction treatment ads


14:05, August 10, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- The world's largest social media network Facebook on Thursday announced a much stricter policy regarding ads for addiction treatment across all Facebook-owned platforms.

Facebook said it will allow only ads for addiction treatment centers from advertisers that have first been approved by LegitScript, a third-party certification service, and the restrictions apply to all of its products, including Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Facebook Audience Network.

As more and more people struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, some addiction treatment centers have failed to meet basic healthcare quality standards that led to insurance scams or offering unproven treatment methods to addicted people.

"Addiction treatment centers that advertise to people in the US on Facebook will now be required to have certification from LegitScript, which will review their background, qualifications, compliance with state legal and regulatory licensing requirements and privacy practices," Facebook said.

Only after the addiction treatment centers are approved by LegitScript can they apply for Facebook certification to run advertising on the Facebook platform, said the US tech giant.

Meanwhile, Facebook said it will no longer allow promotions for bail bonds services to help people to stay away from exploitative bail bond offers that can lead to insurmountable debt.

"Similar to our ban on ads promoting specific kinds of short-term loans, like payday loans, we'll now prohibit any ads promoting bail bonds on Facebook," it said.

Facebook noted that it relied on feedback from industry and policy experts and advocates in the respective fields to decide whether to allow ads from bail bond services.

Facebook has recently launched campaigns to remove fake accounts, suspicious content and other illegal activities including touting hate speech, so as to keep the Facebook community from "bad actors."

In January, Facebook announced a ban on all cryptocurrency ads, which was updated in June to ask cryptocurrency advertisers to submit an application before they could run an ad on the platform.

Other US tech giants like Google have also unveiled similar restriction policies. Google began limiting search ads on addiction treatment queries in September 2017.

It announced a ban on ads for bail bonds services on May 7 this year, saying it removed 3.2 billion bad ads in 2017 to keep misleading or harmful ads off its platforms.

Cover image: Xinhua

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