Facebook has asked agency partners for patience as it "will inevitably make mistakes" amid the coronavirus upheaval.
In an email obtained by Campaign US, the social media giant warned of temporary delays in reviews and response times as well as an inability to monetize content due to a reduced and remote workforce.
Facebook explained that it is "working with our partners over the course of this week to send all contract workers who perform ad and content review home, until further notice."
The company said: "There may be delays for reviews of ads and commerce listings, longer response times from our support channels, delayed or reduced appeals, and potential delays to ID and "Paid for by" disclaimer reviews during authorization for ads about elections, politics or social issues."
Facebook went on to explain how it is relying on automated technology now more than ever.
"We’ll continue to prioritize imminent harm and increase our reliance on proactive detection in other areas to remove violating content," the firm continued. "We will inevitably make mistakes, so we ask for patience as we navigate this challenging time.
"All monetized content goes through brand safety reviews. Since our ability to review new content is now limited, some content will be unable to monetize which may lead to reduced ad inventory for Instant Articles and in-stream video."
Facebook shared information about its efforts outside of agency relationships, which includes a $100M grant to small businesses in crisis.
Below is the memo in full.
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, our company has been supporting the global public health community’s work to keep people safe and informed. Since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a public health emergency in January, we’ve taken steps to make sure everyone has access to accurate information, stop misinformation and harmful content, and support global health experts, local governments, businesses and communities.
To keep our people safe, we have asked for anyone who can work from home to do so. Given the rapidly evolving public health concerns, we are taking additional steps to protect our teams and will be working with our partners over the course of this week to send all contract workers who perform ad and content review home, until further notice. Since this includes people who review ads, commerce listings, and monetized content, we wanted to share more about what this means for your business.
What this means for you:
- Our advertising interfaces and systems will continue operating, as well as our support functions. But as we prioritize the health of our people and operating with a reduced and remote workforce, we are also preparing for potential implications COVID-19 may have on advertisers, developers and publishers.
- For several services, we expect temporary delays in reviews and response times for certain workflows. Specifically, there may be delays for reviews of ads and commerce listings, longer response times from our support channels, delayed or reduced appeals, and potential delays to ID and "Paid for by" disclaimer reviews during authorization for ads about elections, politics or social issues.
- Now with a reduced and remote workforce, we’re relying on automated technology even more. We’ll continue to prioritize imminent harm and increase our reliance on proactive detection in other areas to remove violating content. We will inevitably make mistakes, so we ask for patience as we navigate this challenging time.
- All monetized content goes through brand safety reviews. Since our ability to review new content is now limited, some content will be unable to monetize which may lead to reduced ad inventory for Instant Articles and in-stream video.
- We are committed to helping support your business through this time, and continue to work on ways to minimize disruptions so you can continue to communicate with your customers. We’ll keep our Business Help Center updated with the latest status for our reviews times and any related delays. We encourage you to connect with your customers and keep them informed at this time. Please check out our Business Resource Hub with recommendations and resources to help your business. In addition, we’re exploring looking at additional ways to host virtual trainings and will have more to share in the coming weeks. We hope to share what we have learned and what works for us to help other businesses operate in this new environment.
What we’re doing in response to COVID-19:
- Connecting people with accurate information: We're focused on making sure everyone can access credible and accurate information through our apps.
- We’re introducing the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Center, featured at the top of News Feed, to provide a central place for people to get the latest news and resources on Facebook. We’re connecting people to the World Health Organization (WHO) and local health ministries on Instagram, and launched an information hub with tips on how healthcare workers, educators and local businesses can stay connected using WhatsApp.
- Addressing misinformation and harmful content: We’re monitoring COVID-19 closely and will continue to update our policies if we see people trying to exploit this public health emergency.
- To protect people from those trying to exploit this emergency for financial gain, we are prohibiting ads for products that refer to the coronavirus in ways intended to create a panic or imply that their products guarantee a cure or prevent people from contracting it.
- We started temporarily banning ads and commerce listings selling medical face masks, and plan to expand this to more supplies related to COVID-19. We’ll have more details about which additional products that we may also restrict in the coming days. These restrictions will apply across Facebook and Instagram posts as well.
- Partnering with health professionals & experts: We continue to partner with the World Health Organization (WHO) and local health authorities to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- We're giving the WHO as many free ads as they need for their coronavirus response along with other in-kind support. We'll also give support and millions more in ad credits to other organizations too and will provide additional help if needed.
- We’re matching $20 million in donations to support COVID-19 relief efforts. We worked with the United Nations Foundation and the World Health Organization to start a COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Facebook is matching up to $10 million in donations for the fund, and will also match $10 million for the Center for Disease Control Foundation in the US.
- We’re empowering researchers with aggregated and anonymized mobility data and high resolution population density maps to help inform their forecasting models for the spread of the virus
- Supporting local governments, communities and businesses: We know how important it is to help governments, communities, and businesses stay connected and informed during times like these.
- To help those impacted by the coronavirus, we created a $100 million grant program to help small businesses around the world.
- We launched a $1 million grant program to support fact checkers in their work around COVID-19, and partnered with the Lenfest Institute for Journalism and the Local Media Association to offer a total of $1 million in grants to local news organizations covering COVID-19 in the US and Canada.
- We’re offering Workplace Advanced to government agencies and emergency services free of charge for 12 months. It’s more important than ever that people in critical roles are able to focus on their most impactful work, even if they can’t be together in person.
We’ll continue to share additional updates about our efforts to respond to COVID-19. We appreciate your continued partnership and hope you are able to stay safe throughout this time.