New Zealand advertising industry bodies call for Facebook to remove live streaming

The Commercial Communications Council and Association of New Zealand Advertisers have released a joint open letter to Facebook calling for the removal of its live streaming function.

The letter comes in the wake of the Christchurch attacks and amid discussions over ad-funded social media platforms’ ability to regulate content.

Addressed to the global advertising and agency community, the letter asks for “global networks to petition Facebook to make immediate changes to the security of its live streaming platform, or alternatively, suspend its use altogether” on behalf of New Zealand’s largest advertisers, advertising and media agencies.

ANZA and the Commercial Communications Council claim Facebook’s silence over live streaming indicates a lack of action on the issue.

It gives three suggested steps for Facebook to take in order to support the networks of advertisers:

1. Consider suspending advertising on Facebook until its live streaming functionality is either taken down or sufficient controls are put in place.
2. Put this topic on the agenda at an executive level within your organisation, and petition Facebook for change.
3. As agency and client communities in your own countries, work together and with your own industry associations and government regulators to apply pressure to bring about change.

The letter went on to state that it is “the responsibility of social media, and by association the global advertising community, to ensure that social media platforms can no longer be used as a publishing mechanism for extremist propaganda or a live broadcaster of atrocities.”

It concluded: “In the same way New Zealand has responded to this tragedy with empathy, humility, swift action and tangible outcomes, we won’t stop using our industry voice until these platforms respond in kind.”

At the Advertising Week Europe conference in London last week, CEO of Guardian Media Group David Pemsel criticised Facebook’s inability to control live streaming in the wake of the Christchurch tragedy. He said the idea that material such as the attack’s live stream could be monetised was abhorrent.

Mumbrella has approached Facebook for comment.


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