Vodafone to start blocking ads on websites that promote fake news and hate speech

Vodafone have announced that they will prevent their adverts from appearing on websites that promote fake news and hate speech.

Working closely with Google and Facebook, Vodafone will create a ‘whitelist’ of safe sites in which its ads can appear, one of the first moves of its kind. Publications whose ‘predominant purpose’ is hate speech or fake news will be blocked, which means it will not move to block tabloid or extreme rightwing or leftwing publishers if they occasionally breach the new regulations, according to The Guardian. 

“When it comes to making a judgment about a site or channel focused on fake news or hate speech, what’s needed is a human judgment, an editorial assessment. It’s not possible to rely on algorithms alone. For that reason, we’ve concluded that the best way to ensure brand safety is to use a whitelist approach,” said Matt Peacock of Vodafone.

Customers will not be banned from accessing those sites, but their ads won’t be found on such sites promoting hate speech and fake news either, as automated advertising can serve as a revenue flow. Vodafone plan to stop this by distancing themselves from such publications.