Lawsuit: Meta placed ads next to content sexualizing minors

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Reportedly, Meta has been accused of deceiving corporate clients such as Walmart by permitting advertisements to appear alongside content deemed “clearly illegal.” Additionally, Meta has faced allegations of displaying corporate ads alongside content that sexualizes underage users.

These allegations were brought to light by Walmart and Match Group, the parent company of Tinder, as part of a lawsuit filed by the New Mexico attorney general’s office last month.

The significance of these allegations lies in the potential harm to brand safety. Placing ads alongside illegal content not only risks damaging a brand’s reputation but also reduces the likelihood of ads reaching their intended audience, potentially causing a significant impact on return on investment (ROI).

New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez has accused Meta of enabling adults to engage with and groom minors for sexual exploitation, stating that new evidence suggests that Meta is misleading corporate advertisers and allowing sponsored content to appear alongside highly disturbing images and videos that clearly violate Meta’s promised content standards.

Match Group reportedly informed Meta that ads for its dating apps were being displayed alongside “disturbing” and “clearly illegal” content, including graphic depictions of violence against women. When Meta allegedly failed to take action, Match Group’s CEO, Bernard Kim, lodged a complaint directly with Mark Zuckerberg, but it appears that Zuckerberg did not respond to the complaint.

In response to Meta’s actions, Walmart lodged a complaint with Meta in October, expressing concern that the social media giant had shown a noticeable decline in its focus on brand safety. A Walmart spokesperson issued a statement regarding the court filing, emphasizing their commitment to taking brand safety matters seriously and making the protection of their customers and communities a top priority.

On Meta’s side, a spokesperson conveyed their stance to Search Engine Land, stating:

“We do not condone the presence of this type of content on our platforms, and brands do not want their ads to be associated with it.”

“We continue to make substantial investments to combat such content, and we regularly report on its prevalence, which remains very low.”

“Our systems have proven to be effective in reducing content that violates our standards, and we have allocated significant resources, totaling billions, toward enhancing safety, security, and brand suitability solutions.”

Original news from SearchEngineLand