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What Facebook’s “one strike” streaming policy means for brands

Facebook has introduced a new set of rules for users of its Facebook Live video streaming feature. Users who violate the “most serious policies” on the platform will now be instantly banned from using Facebook Live for a fixed period of time.

“Today we are tightening the rules that apply specifically to Live. We will now apply a ‘one strike’ policy to Live in connection with a broader range of offenses,” writes Guy Rosen, VP of Integrity at Facebook, in an official blog post. “From now on, anyone who violates our most serious policies will be restricted from using Live for set periods of time.”

This “one strike” policy follows the introduction of a “Dangerous Individuals and Organisations” policy to the Facebook’s Community Standards which forbids users involved in organised hate and terrorist activity from having a presence on the site.

Facebook is also battling the spread of “deepfakes,” i.e. video content that has been digitally altered to show events unfolding in a different way, or events that never happened at all. The company is reportedly investing $7.5 million in improving its image and video analysis technology and developing new ways to detect and prevent manipulated media.

Since launching in 2015, Facebook Live has become a valuable resource for brands, a way to promote new products or services, raise awareness and build advocacy. However, with the YouTube programmatic crisis still fresh in the advertising industry’s memory, brands are understandably anxious about consumer trust on Live.

Facebook has demonstrated an understanding of these concerns, giving brands increasing control over where on the site (and alongside which content) their ads will appear. Last month, the company expanded its brand safety toolkit to include an inventory filter, and reaffirmed its commitment to stamping out fake accounts, propaganda and violent content.

This new “one strike” policy for Live should once again reassure brands that Facebook shares their goal of improving user safety, and restoring trust and accountability to the platform. The company’s intent is to strike the balance between minimising the risk of abuse on Live, while still “enabling people to use Live in a positive way every day” — a tall order, but one which will be crucial to ensure continued widespread use of the product, and continued ad spend.

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