Consumers are increasingly holding brands accountable and social media platforms are not exempt. In fact, social behemoths have extra work to do when it comes to gaining user trust, with nearly a third of Americans saying they do not trust any major social media channel, according to a recent survey.i
Nearly everyday, a new headline appears about mistrust, misinformation and the need for social media platforms to take more action and responsibility. While we agree these platforms have much work to do and must do this work, we’ve also seen some social platforms take action in the past year to help counteract the unavoidable negative effects social media can contribute to.
Below are a few ways we are seeing social media platforms take action.
Promoting accurate information with credible partners: YouTube unveiled a new healthcare initiative in January 2021, focused on creating credible health content across the platform with creators including Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic and American Public Health Association.
Increasing transparency around misleading information: Facebook implemented a notification feature for users when they have interacted with a post that has been removed for COVID-19 misinformation and continues to make improvements.
Removing fake accounts: According to their Transparency Report from May 2021, LinkedIn’s automated defenses blocked 98.3% of all fake accounts in July – December 2020.
AMPLIFYING HEALTH CONVERSATIONS
Partnering with advocacy groups and nonprofits: Pinterest partnered with the National Eating Disorder Association to help raise awareness and build communities of support and recovery for those in need.
Bringing health to the forefront: Instagram created a “Stay Home” sticker to encourage social distancing at the height of the pandemic in Spring 2020.
PRIORITIZING ACCESSIBILITY AND SOCIAL GOOD
Stricter guidelines around health-related advertising: Pinterest prohibited ads with weight loss language and imagery with their new policy enforced in July 2021.
Integrating more accessible features: Instagram rolled out auto-generated captions in Stories in May 2021.
Adding new fundraising and donation features: Instagram added group fundraisers on the platform in July 2021, allowing users to boost awareness of causes by having several people partner on a single fundraiser.
IMPROVING USER SAFETY
Tackling harmful language and cyber bullying: Twitter launched Safety Mode in September 2021, allowing users to temporarily block accounts for seven days for using potentially harmful language or sending repetitive and uninvited replies or mentions.
Protecting minors: Facebook limited targeting capabilities on ads aimed at reaching users under 18, starting in August 2021.
TELL US: How do you want to see social media platforms continue to step up?
i Social Media and Cybersecurity, March 2021, https://studyonline.unsw.edu.au/blog/social-media-and-cyber-security-lp