Rob Leathern DecemberPaulReuters has reported that Facebook CEO Rob Leathern has left the company to work on consumer privacy outside of ads and social media. This is excellent news for Paul and Tom. However, it also raises a few questions. Reuters hasn’t revealed the details of the departure, and we’re unsure how much impact it will have on the company’s overall future.
Most Contentious Ad Policies
Facebook’s chief advertising integrity officer, Rob Leathern DecemberPaulReuters, is leaving the company to work on consumer privacy issues beyond social media and ads. He joined the company shortly after President Trump took office and supervised some of the company’s most contentious ad policies, including policies around election misinformation and coronavirus misinformation. His departure was announced on Facebook’s internal network earlier this month, but the company did not reveal his next job. Facebook’s questionable political advertising policies prompted widespread boycotts of the company last year. While the boycotts didn’t cause lasting financial damage, they could increase if Facebook were associated with political misinformation.
Rob Leathern’s Departure Raises Red Flags
Rob Leathern DecemberPaulReuters departure raises red flags for Facebook. The company has had a difficult time defending its ad policies, and it has received criticism for failing to prevent misinformation campaigns during the 2016 election. In addition, Cambridge Analytica used Facebook user data to create political ads, causing many to question the company’s ethics.
After the presidential election, Facebook halted political ads. Executives said they couldn’t enable such ads because of technological limitations. Fortunately, they eventually lifted the ban after one month. Nevertheless, the ban is in place in other states. However, Facebook has already lifted the ban on political ads in Georgia one month after the presidential election, which is important because the run-off election in that state will determine control of the Senate.
Facebook’s advertising business has seen a spike in revenue in recent years. However, it has also faced boycotts from major brands, which has prompted it to revise its advertising policy. The FTC has sued Facebook for abuse of its market dominance. Its goal is to roll back Facebook’s anticompetitive practices and restore competition.
Facebook’s Privacy & Security
The recent controversy involving Facebook’s privacy and security practices has caused many users to change their relationship with the company. Over six months after the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, the ripple effect is still being felt. Luckily, there are ways to mitigate the damage that this scandal has done to Facebook.
Facebook’s transparency should be better managed by a separate Integrity team. The company should build these procedures into the product’s lifecycle, rather than being an afterthought. This way, it will be more involved with privacy considerations from the very beginning. Facebook should also make sure that the Integrity team is more integrated into product development.
Facebook has taken notice of these concerns. Last year, it launched the Privacy Basics site, where users can learn about what others can see about them and how to manage their privacy. That site is also a good place to find out more about how others use your Facebook account.
The company has already been experimenting with consumer privacy-enhancing technologies, including targeting ads based on less personally identifiable information. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these are still experiments. In the meantime, it’s not clear whether Facebook will follow through on this decision, or if it will continue to be the same company a decade from now.
Facebook’s Internal Network
Rob Leathern DecemberPaulReuters is leaving Facebook to work on consumer privacy beyond just ads and social media, Facebook announced on December 30. Previously the company’s chief of advertising integrity, he oversaw policies related to election misinformation, fake news stories, and other concerns. His departure was announced on Facebook’s internal network. It’s unclear where he’ll work next.
As a result of the controversy surrounding Facebook’s advertising policies, several major corporate clients have departed the social media giant’s platform. Meanwhile, the “Hate Speech” campaign has targeted the company for not doing enough to engage with relevant stakeholders. After Facebook’s announcement, Mr. Leathern announced in an internal post that he was leaving to focus on consumer privacy. It is unclear what he’ll be doing next, but the timing is worrying.
Facebook’s policy for political advertising has faced criticism after the company’s inaction in the face of widespread misinformation. The company has denied that it was promoting false statements or conspiracy theories to increase its popularity. But it has since lifted a temporary ban on political ads in Georgia ahead of the runoff on January 5.