In a bid to prevent its advertisements from appearing on websites that publish fake news or promote hate speech, Vodafone has decided to stop giving ads to those online platforms. According to a report in The Times on Wednesday, the telecommunication player has put in place global rules intended to prevent its advertising from appearing on outlets that create or share hate speech or fake news.
“Hate speech and fake news threaten to undermine the principles of respect and trust that bind communities together,” Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao was quoted as saying. “We will not tolerate our brand being associated with this kind of abusive and damaging content,” he added. Vodafone, which spends about 750 million pounds annually on advertising, said it will implement its new policy using a “whitelist-based” approach, where it will earmark media outlets that it is willing to advertise on rather than the ones that it is not.
According to Matt Peacock, Director of Corporate Affairs at Vodafone, the whitelist would not exclude “legitimate means of expression” which might be considered offensive to some people. The move from Vodafone comes amid growing criticism of companies such as Google, the owner of YouTube, and Facebook over their failure to tackle extremist or abusive content.