Nissan Backs Away From Facebook Ads Due to Hate Speech


  • 2013 Nissan Pathfinder Picture

    2013 Nissan Pathfinder Picture

    The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder is one of several key models the automaker has showcased in its Facebook advertising. | May 30, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • Nissan has pulled advertisements from Facebook because of hate speech directed against women and other groups on the social media site.
  • "We will continue to work with them to ensure that we can opt out of advertising on any pages that may be deemed offensive," wrote David P. Reuter, vice president of corporate communications for Nissan Americas, in response to a query from Edmunds on Thursday.
  • Facebook said in a posting that "it has become clear that our systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like."

FRANKLIN, Tennessee — Nissan has pulled advertisements from Facebook because of hate speech directed against women and other groups on the social media site.

"We will continue to work with them to ensure that we can opt out of advertising on any pages that may be deemed offensive," wrote David P. Reuter, vice president of corporate communications for Nissan Americas, in response to a query from Edmunds on Thursday.

Facebook said in a posting signed by Marne Levine, its vice president of global public policy, that: "It has become clear that our systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like."

Levine outlined several steps that Facebook will be doing to remove offensive content quickly, including updating its guidelines to evaluate reports of violations of its standards around hate speech, soliciting feedback from experts, including women's groups, and updating the training of its review teams.

"Nissan is fully supportive of the steps that Facebook is taking to identify and remove offensive content from its Web site," Reuter added.

He noted: "Facebook will continue to be one of several important components of our digital advertising strategy."

At this point, Nissan has only pulled its Facebook advertising in the United Kingdom, since the automaker's ads rotate location on the social media site.

Facebook said it defines hate speech as "direct and serious attacks on any protected category of people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or disease."

Nissan's social-media advertising focuses on several key models, including the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and Altima.

Edmunds says: Nissan takes concrete steps to help halt offensive content on Facebook. Expect other automakers to follow.

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