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Facebook Running on Objectionable Videos

In response to those concerns, Facebook released a new set of rules on Wednesday that outline the types of videos and articles that it will bar from running ads. It also said it would begin disclosing new information to advertisers about where their messages appear on the platform and on external apps and sites it is partners with.

The rules, which will be enforced by a mix of automation and human review, restrict ads from content that depicts, among other topics, real-world tragedies, “debatable social issues,” misappropriation of children’s show characters, violence, nudity, gore, drug use and derogatory language. Facebook is extending the guidelines immediately to videos — which the company hopes will become an increasingly lucrative part of its business — and, in the coming months, to articles.

Facebook said users who repeatedly violate its content guidelines, share sensational clickbait or post fake news may lose the ability to run ads.

“There have been concerns that marketers have had that are wide-ranging around digital, and we want to do everything we can to ensure that we are providing the safest environment for publishers, advertisers and for people that utilize the platform,” said Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president of global marketing solutions.

Facebook and Google were criticized during and after the presidential election for allowing misinformation to spread on their platforms. This year, YouTube had to address advertisers’ concerns after messages from major brands like AT&T were discovered on videos that promoted terrorism and hate speech. The Wall Street Journal found at least 50 acts of violence on Facebook Live broadcasts.

(On the other side of the advertising equation, Facebook disclosed last week that it had identified more than $100,000 worth of ads on divisive issues that ran from June 2015 to May 2017 and had been bought by fake accounts based in Russia.)

The companies are moving quickly to address such issues, particularly as they seek to attract a greater portion of the money earmarked for television advertising to the video content on their sites.

Facebook has enabled hundreds of publishers and individuals to run ads during live video broadcasts in the past year, and the company recently introduced a slate of new shows on a part of its site called “Watch.” If the new guidelines encourage people to post more G-rated video content, they are likely to bolster Facebook’s pitch to advertisers

That should be an advantage in policing content, Mr. Montgomery said, especially with the limits that Facebook is placing on who can make money from certain features. For example, the company required pages and profiles that wanted to run ads on live videos this year to have more than 2,000 followers. They could only show ads if they had at least 300 concurrent viewers after four minutes.

Facebook also said it would begin showing advertisers a preview of where their messages may appear before campaigns start, giving advertisers a chance to block undesirable destinations. The company will also report on where the ads actually run.

When brands use Facebook to target specific people with ads, they are able to select from a cornucopia of traits, including age, gender and how many lines of credit a person has. Many ads then show up in the main Facebook and Instagram feeds that people flick through, but they can also appear in articles and videos within Facebook and on outside apps and mobile websites that are part of Facebook’s “audience network.”

Brands have not been able to see beforehand what kind of content that might include, and some have had to contend with objections from consumers after being placed on sites like Breitbart News. Facebook said there were tens of thousands of apps and sites in its audience network and that more than 10,000 publishers displayed articles within its platform through a tool called Instant Articles.

As YouTube has moved to limit ads from running alongside unsavory content, many creators on the platform have complained that their videos have been unfairly penalized by automated systems. Facebook will probably have to grapple with similar complaints as it expands the number of people who can make money from video ads on the site.

”Facebook previously let advertisers opt out of a more limited list of topics, including sites and apps related to dating, gambling and “debated social issues” like religion and politics, Ms. Everson said. She added that the new rules would allow publishers to “understand where we’re placing ads” and make it easier for advertisers to avoid offensive content.