In New Zealand, Facebook declines ads that promote climate change stories under ‘sensitive’ topics policy: Report

New Zealand Geographic publisher James Frankham said that the Facebook algorithm was preventing important journalism from reaching new readers, according to the report

Livemint
Published21 Jun 2024, 08:51 PM IST
The Facebook policy require authorisation for advertising on what it deems sensitive, political or social issues.
The Facebook policy require authorisation for advertising on what it deems sensitive, political or social issues.(REUTERS)

Meta Platforms-owned Facebook declined advertisements that promote stories about climate change under a policy on “sensitive” topics, said a report by RNZ.co.nz citing New Zealand Geographic magazine.

According to the report, New Zealand Geographic publisher James Frankham said that the Facebook algorithm was preventing important journalism from reaching new readers.

It was impossible to find out exactly why posts were rejected, he added.

“Frankham said changes to the kinds of posts Meta promoted automatically into people's feeds meant he now had to pay to get any traction for links to the magazine's journalism,” as per the report.

The Facebook policy require authorisation for advertising on what it deems sensitive, political or social issues. The policy flags topics such as gun control, “discussion, debate or advocacy for or against ... climate change”.

Calling the Facebook algorithm a “black box”, Frankham said: “You can't call 0800 Facebook and speak to somebody.”

Meta Platforms’ policy for New Zealand on its website said: “Ads about environmental politics, with ad content that includes discussion, debate or advocacy for or against topics including but not limited to climate change and gas extraction, are subject to review and enforcement.”

The policy varies country to country.

Citing some media commentators, the RNZ report said the New Zealand Geographic magazine was not alone in finding its journalism being restricted on the Facebook, as Meta had stopped sharing links to news.

“Facebook was a private company and could set its own policies - but in this case, it had it wrong,” said Colin Peacock of RNZ’s Mediawatch.

There was a strong interest of the people being able to find journalism discussing topics such as climate change, he added.

Australia and Canada had implemented laws that require the Facebook to pay for news shared on its platform.

While in New Zealand, progress on the Fair Digital News Bargaining Bill – drafted on similar lines to Australian law - had been stalled.

 

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First Published:21 Jun 2024, 08:51 PM IST
HomeNewsTrendsIn New Zealand, Facebook declines ads that promote climate change stories under ‘sensitive’ topics policy: Report

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