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Facebook updates ad policy to restrict piracy services


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

May 5, 2017 | 2 min read

Facebook is restricting advertising submitted to its network by illegal streaming services and devices in a move that will placate broadcasters and content creators.


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The social network told The Drum it is taking steps to ban advertising of unauthorised or illegal streaming devices in an attempt to cut out piracy.

Facebook will manually search and remove ads that fail to live up to the new standard but that from next week the process will be automated, whereupon a machine will be largely responsible for identifying and barring those it deems bad players in the space.

The crackdown will also restrict the sale of such streaming products on Facebook’s commerce hub marketplace in a move that will placate broadcasters and content producers – some of whom are undoubtedly paying ad bucks to feature on Facebook.

According to a recent YouGov survey, 10% of the UK population (around 4.9 million adults) currently have access to platforms such as illegal Kodi boxes, Amazon Fire TV Chipped Sticks, and illegal streaming apps on smartphones and tablets.

Early in May, Facebook announced that its ad business grew by 51% year-on-year, raking in revenues of $7.9bn. Illegal devices will likely account for a small slice of this pie, but Facebook is unsure just how many until it commences its purge of such ads in the following days.

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