Refunds not widely asked by local advertisers after FB recent global outage

Despite Facebook's recent outage that affected its family of apps and lasted for almost half a day, local marketers that Marketing spoke to didn't seem as impacted by the outage. While an article published by AdAge said that industry players in the US were talking to Facebook to discuss "possible refunds", social media and media agency heads in Singapore and Malaysia that Marketing spoke to however said no such requests have been made by their clients.

Many said that given the site was down, the ads simply wouldn't run and majority of the clients pay for impressions, views, clicks. Another media agency lead told us that while the teams did scramble briefly, the clients haven't yet mentioned refunds from the social media giant. Others said they simply adjusted budgets and readjusted after the outage.

Facebook has declined to comment about the outage and possible refunds by local advertisers.

Meanwhile, closer to the region, according to The New Zealand Herald, ASB, Burger King, Spark, Lotto, ANZ and a number of other companies have banded together against Facebook and Google to "take a stand against the harm caused by unmoderated content." This comes shortly after clips of the tragic Christchurch shooting were circulated online.

Facebook New Zealand's director of policy Mia Garlick said that the social media platform had removed about 1.5 million videos of the attack globally in the first 24 hours, of which over 1.2 million were blocked at upload. She added to Marketing, "We continue to work around the clock to remove violating content using a combination of technology and people. Out of respect for the people affected by this tragedy and the concerns of local authorities, we're also removing all edited versions of the video that do not show graphic content."

A YouTube spokesperson also added that the platform has "removed tens of thousands of videos and terminated hundreds of accounts created to promote or glorify the shooter". Google added:
The volume of related videos uploaded to YouTube in the 24 hours after the attack was unprecedented both in scale and speed, at times as fast as a new upload every second.

"In response, we took a number of steps, including automatically rejecting any footage of the violence, temporarily suspending the ability to sort or filter searches by upload date, and making sure searches on this event pulled up results from authoritative news sources like The New Zealand Herald or USA Today. Our teams are continuing to work around the clock to prevent violent and graphic content from spreading, we know there is much more work to do."

According to Facebook on its newsroom, the live video of the gunman attacking was viewed less than 200 times during the broadcast. Including the views during the live broadcast, the video was viewed about 4000 times in total before being removed from Facebook.

Meanwhile, in a joint statement, the Association of New Zealand Advertisers and the Commercial Communications Council challenged Facebook and other platform owners to immediately take steps to effectively moderate hate content before another tragedy can be streamed online. The statement said, "Businesses are already asking if they wish to be associated with social media platforms unable or unwilling to take responsibility for content on those sites. The events in Christchurch raise the question, if the site owners can target consumers with advertising in microseconds, why can’t the same technology be applied to prevent this kind of content being streamed live?"

The ANZA and the Comms Council encourage all advertisers to recognise they have choice where their advertising dollars are spent, and carefully consider, with their agency partners, where their ads appear.

(Photo courtesy: 123rf)