It’s no surprise that social media giant Facebook has surpassed most broadcasting media companies with its two billion active users. According to a study conducted by MSNBC, 45% of American adults get their news exclusively from Facebook. As a result, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is going back and forth on the idea of possibly regulating Facebook like it does other broadcasting outlets.
The platform considers itself a tech company to begin with, not a media company. What sets Facebook apart from TV and radio advertising is its lack of a “stand by your ad” provision. This makes it difficult for regulators to track down the root of an ad. As a result, the social media giant faces federal scrutiny. A Facebook spokesperson argued that “changing the size or format to these ads would cause a significant disruption to Facebook’s basic advertising model”. Can this possibly impact the way social media advertisers go about their digital marketing strategies?
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This isn’t the first time the FCC has attempted to regulate an online giant. A prime example is AOL Instant Messenger. At its peak, AIM hosted 90% of the online chat market. The FCC argued that AIM should host and be compatible with other chat apps. Once regulated, this made room for competition, such as a range of messaging apps and social media networks. With recent events, it’s safe to say this really impacted AIM. Another popular site, Wikipedia, has voluntarily agreed to be regulated because it wanted its users to be assured that the site does not approve false information.
Facebook hosts millions upon millions of published ads by their users that don’t require knowledge of the publishers. Again, Facebook argues that they are not a news website, but a tech and social media site. The FCC argues that Facebook should begin to take responsibility for the content it hosts.
If that’s something they don’t want to be a part of, then they should require ad publishers/users to take legal editorial responsibility. The FCC additionally believes that Facebook and all social media platforms should establish a system that ensures that all incoming information and advertisements be reviewed and checked for misleading or false information.
Rules and Guidelines
If regulating Facebook does occur, it may have some kind of impact on your digital marketing team. Some share concern that it could possibly make it a tad more difficult for small businesses to roam freely on Facebook posting whatever they want whenever they want. Like television and radio, there may be rules and guidelines to follow. Some of the current FCC rules and guidelines for advertising include:
- The nature of the product being advertised.
- The timing of the ad.
- Commercials believed to be indecent or in poor taste.
- False and misleading commercials.
As of now, creating an ad for social media does not require approval from any federal agency. However, that can potentially change if the FCC decides to step in.
Your Businesses’ Advertising Efforts
It’s important for your followers to trust your business and know that they aren’t being fed false information through advertisements. At Imagine It Studios, our social media strategists know to only put out truthful advertising that benefits our clients and their company. If you’re ready to delve into the social media world and make your business a well-known name online, then contact us today!