Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is a company that has been working with heavy effort to monetize its massive network of 1 billion users, and it has made a lot of headway in terms of advertising – much to the delight of fund managers like Leon Cooperman (see his portfolio here). It has developed quite the impressive ad network, that gives some advertisers tremendous value for their advertising dollar in terms of the number of eyes that see ads for the price paid. Just as ubiquitous Facebook has become in our culture, its advertising has become the same to the users of the social platform. So much so, that it seems like no one can escape it.
Well, almost no one. It turns out, there is one group or genre of pages that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has now determined are just too toxic to try to handle the PR that would come from trying to make money on those pages. Apparently the idea of Facebook trying to advertise on pages that are deemed violent and/or offensive just doesn’t go over well with the public. Yes, the company has decided against selling advertising on these types of pages which claim to promote or glorify violence – especially against women – or those that have photos or content that could be deemed offensive.
Seems like to this this could cut both ways for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). First, the company says it cannot possibly monitor every photo or every post that gets placed on the social network to be able to consider whether they meet Facebook’s user standards, so the company has relied on the sensibilities and sensitivities of users to report photos and posts and pages that they deemed offensive.
While that may serve one purpose to clean up Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), you also could have some socially aware pages and users who may see their pages deleted – like the documented case of The Scar Project, a Facebook page by a professional photographer who posts pictures of mastectomy scars as a push to celebrate breast-cancer survivors and draw attention to breast cancer. The Scar Project page and the owner have had accounts suspended and photos deleted off the page for being too offensive for some people. And to keep advertisers off those pages likely also protects the reputations of those companies.
So what is the other edge of the sword here?