Is Facebook Pulling an Apple With Its Ad Guidelines?

facebook-logoFacebook this week began enforcing its updated ad guidelines, which includes requiring that all ads containing user data, such as names and profile picture, be approved by the social network. While Facebook explained in a blog post last week the impetus behind the stricter policies, it has remained largely silent as to how its ad approval process actually works. In other words, users still don’t know what steps Facebook takes when it’s authorizing ads, and whether such steps are enough to ensure that users’ privacy aren’t violated again.

When asked to elaborate on its ad approval process, Facebook sent the following statement via email (which isn’t much different from the one it sent Inside Facebook last week):

Our dedicated internal policy team will continue to monitor ads within apps on an ongoing basis and take action against those apps running ads that violate our policies. We are committed to maintaining an ecosystem that provides users with a trusted experience.

Facebook also declined to comment on which ad networks it has approved or disapproved so far. (Two ad networks have confirmed that they were banned, but that was before the ad guidelines were updated.) Being tight-lipped about its process is a risky move for Facebook and its platform strategy — just look at the outcry over Apple’s refusal to explain why it’s rejected certain apps from its App Store.

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