YouTube tops the overall rankings of a new social media platform audit conducted by IPG Mediabrands which aims to establish a benchmark on what a responsible platform looks like and to help enhance brand safety and media responsibility in advertising.

The Media Responsibility Audit, based on the Media Responsibility Principles previously developed by Mediabrands, weighs the impact of harmful content and evaluates the policies of different platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube) and their enforcement.

Key findings of the audit include:

Policy enforcement matters: Most platforms have some level of enforcement reporting, but these are inconsistent and limited in scope. They rarely focus on the platforms holding themselves accountable for their own enforcement of policies. There is a need to better define expectations and metrics to be included within future policy enforcement reporting.

Lack of consistency across platforms: Given broad regulations that surround anti-discrimination and data privacy (e.g. GDPR/CCPA), there are opportunities to become even more consistent in how data collection policies are enacted across the various social platforms.

Eradicating hate speech is a common goal: A shared recognition across platforms that eliminating hate speech is important does not translate into a consistent definition of what qualifies as hate speech. There’s also inconsistent identification of protected classes of people and a lack of prevalence reporting and independent auditing of hate speech reports.

Misinformation is a challenge: While certain platforms work with many organisations to combat misinformation, others work with none at all. Some platforms cite their unique engagement models as reason to de-prioritize fact-checking, but desktop research shows that even minor instances can lead to unsafe ad placement for advertisers.

Non-registered user experiences vary: For platforms that allow access to their services without user registration, there is an opportunity to be more consistent with that user experience. Some platforms still allow certain advertising placements to be viewed by a non-registered user, which may not result in responsible media delivery.

Urgent need for third-party verification: Only a few partners have specific controls for protecting advertisers from adjacency to content in objectionable or harmful categories. The industry needs to promote and use third-party verification partners more widely to avoid being at the mercy of the platforms’ lack of controls.

“What this audit shows is that there is work to be done across all platforms from a media responsibility perspective, and that the different platforms each need to earn their place on a brand’s marketing plan,” said Elijah Harris, Global Head of Social, Mediabrands’ agency Reprise.

“Our audit aims to deliver transparency to advertisers and consumers about the specifics of each platform with regard to our 10 principles. The audit is a tool to hold platforms accountable for improving their media responsibility policies and enforcement and to ensure we can track progress over time. We hope the audit resonates with our industry and we can all work towards creating a greater good together.”

The audit will occur quarterly to enable platforms to demonstrate progress and help clients hold media partners accountable to commitments to improve.

Sourced from IPG Mediabrands