IAB raises concerns about ASB’s social media stance

Online trade body the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Australia questioned the ASB decision to hold advertisers responsible for content on social networks.

The announcement:

The IAB expressed its concern with the recent Ad Standards Bureau (ASB) determination relating to the role and responsibilities of businesses using social media platforms to promote their services.  The IAB believes this determination places an unnecessary burden on businesses for what happens across social media channels.  It goes beyond legal requirements and common industry practice and has the potential to hurt the development of social media for Australians.

Noting that there is no legal obligation on businesses to monitor or moderate user generated comments appearing on their branded social media pages, newly appointed IAB Australia Director of Regulatory Affairs, Samantha Yorke, commented:  “Businesses who use social media platforms to promote their products and services should consider their options for moderating user generated comments on their pages to manage the image and reputational risks associated with negative user expressions.  This risk assessment and any resulting actions undertaken by businesses are best left to businesses to determine on a case by case basis.

“The global industry standard for social media platforms when managing abuse on their services is ‘notice and take down’.  This involves social media platforms and businesses with social media pages promptly investigating reports of abuse and taking appropriate action – such as taking the content down.    In addition, there are a range of other tools that these platforms make available to businesses to assist them in their efforts to manage user comments on their pages such as word filters, age gating, and the ability to ban users.

“Social media platforms encourage users to report any objectionable comments using the reporting or escalation tools available on each site and this is the fastest way to make the platform aware of unlawful content and get it taken down,” said Ms Yorke.

Source: media release

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