Nationwide caught up in Facebook #fbrape campaign

Nationwide caught up in Facebook #fbrape campaign

Nationwide Building Society experienced a crash course in the perils of social media advertising earlier this week when it found itself drawn into a row about the depiction of violence against women on Facebook.

Last week a campaign, led by the Everyday Sexism Project and joined by more than 100 advocacy groups, called on Facebook to toughen up its policing of content promoting or making light of things such as domestic violence and rape.

To put pressure on the social media giant, the coalition asked people to contact firms, including Nationwide, whose adverts on the site appear next to content that "targets women for violence", and demand their withdrawal.

In total, more than 60,000 tweets with the hashtag #fbrape were sent out to advertisers backed up by several thousand e-mails. An online petition garnered more than 225,000 signatures.

Nationwide told tweeters that, although its ads target users' profiles based on their location, not pages, it was suspending its promotions.

With several other companies taking a similar approach, Facebook has acted, promising to review and update its hate speech polices, improve staff training on the issue and increase accountability of content creators.

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