How to Avoid Completely Reliant on Social Media Censors
Censorship on the Internet is no longer confined to China and Iran. In fact, the Western world regards it as an unfortunate requirement to keep the internet free and safe. If you don't think so, take a look at Google's revised policy on adult content. It's also cracking down on adult material. This impacts marketers in a wide range of ways. In addition to censoring social networks and blocking certain content, governments can also censor posts. You must learn how to bypass social media censors if you want to be successful in today's marketing environment! Fortunately, the HapPhi tool can help you do just that.
June 15, 2022
Image Source: FreeImages
Today, digital censorship is no longer something that just happens in countries like China and Iran. In fact, the western world has come to see it as a necessary evil to keep the Internet safe for users. If you think that’s an overstatement, just take a look at Google and its recent announcement on revised policies for its search engine. They’re now cracking down on adult content — and this new policy has some serious implications for marketers everywhere. Moreover, we’ve also seen how governments can implement laws to censor social media platforms and block unwanted material or individuals from being able to post certain things online. Even though censorship might not be ‘evil’ by nature, you should know how it can impact your marketing efforts before it gets too late! Let’s check out what you need to know about digital censorship and how it can affect your marketing campaign in the long run...
What is Digital Censorship?
Digital censorship is when a governing party or a social media platform in charge of distributing information online blocks or filters content that is deemed to be unsuitable for public viewing. The censorship can be done at the source, or it can be applied after the information has been uploaded to the Internet. If you remember the times when Facebook, Twitter, and other major social media platforms came under heavy fire for their role in the 2016 election, you’d know that the subject of censorship is a tricky one. On one hand, social media platforms are meant to be a safe environment for users. On the other hand, they’re also meant to be a place where everyone — no matter what opinions they have — can freely express themselves.
Google’s New Content Moderation Rules
On May 10, 2018, Google made an unexpected announcement that they would be clamping down on adult content in search results. While some believed that this was a long-awaited move from Google, others expressed their frustration that it was coming so late in the game. The changes are expected to impact the appearance of results for a number of widely used search terms related to adult content. Common examples that have been brought up include sex toys, sexual wellness, and lingerie. However, the most controversial example cited by the media was that of the search term ‘nipple’, which will now yield results related to nipples on breastfeeding — not nipples on breasts. Yes — Google is now censoring nipples.
Facebook’s Latest Discrepancy in Advertising Guidelines
Facebook has come under fire for its content moderation policies on several occasions. Most recently, the company revised its advertising guidelines to prohibit ads that promote the use of cannabis and associated products. This means that businesses who are based in states where the use of cannabis is legal will not be able to promote their products through Facebook ads. This is a huge blow to brands and marketers who rely on Facebook ads to drive traffic to their site and build brand awareness. This is especially troubling when you consider that Facebook has over 2 billion monthly users, and most of those users are located in the United States and Canada. In short, Facebook advertising is incredibly important for most businesses in the western world.
Instagram’s Censorship of Ads for Adult Content
We all know that Instagram is owned by Facebook, so it’s no surprise that the two websites share similar content moderation policies. With that said, Instagram has been particularly strict about advertising for adult content, especially in recent months. Encouraging users to visit your website, or even just to click on links in general, is something that Instagram has frowned upon for a long time. But the recent crackdown on adult content has made it almost impossible to promote your website or product links.
Twitter’s Tightening of Limited API Controls and Censorship
Twitter has always had a difficult time with balancing freedom of speech and user safety. Unfortunately, many users have been banned or suspended for expressing their unpopular opinions. As far as censorship goes, Twitter made headlines when it announced that it would be tightening its API access controls. This meant that third-party applications that depend on the API to function would be affected. In particular, numerous marketing and social media automation tools were affected by this change. These changes have made it increasingly difficult for marketers to grow their audience and engage with their followers.
Google and YouTube’s Partial Censorship of Certain Videos
Lastly, we have Google and YouTube’s partial censorship of certain videos in the past. Most notably, Google removed a video from an anti-Islamic hate group that claimed Muslims were evil. Google was heavily criticized for removing the video. They were accused of having a political agenda and trying to manipulate public opinion. However, Google claimed that they removed the video because it violated their terms of service. They also claimed they removed the video because it was “inflammatory and inappropriate.”
How Does Marketing Get Affected by All This?
Now that we’ve seen how certain social media platforms have come under fire for their content moderation policies, we can see how this can affect marketing efforts in a negative way. Even though some of these changes were expected, others came as a surprise. As a result, it has been increasingly difficult for marketers to grow their audience and engage with their followers. It seems that no social media platform is safe from the claws of digital censorship. While these changes are necessary to maintain a safe and healthy environment for users, they can also make it challenging for marketers to engage with their target audience.
Using HapPhi to get around social media censors
If you want to stay relevant in the modern marketing world, then you need to learn how to get around social media censors! Fortunately, there’s a nifty tool called HapPhi that helps marketers do just that. HapPhi is an image recognition and augmented reality application that lets you add text, links, and even images to your photos. It lets you do all this without having to rely on social media platforms to publish your content! This means that you can publish content on your own website and share a picture on social media at the same time. This way, you get around social media censors and can continue to spread your message to your audience!
These changes are bound to cause some disruptions, but it’s important to remember that these platforms are still largely unregulated. As such, marketers must remain vigilant in their efforts to avoid being caught in the crossfire of censorship. With that said, marketers must also be cognizant of the fact that social media is meant to be a safe space for its users. This is why governments and social media platforms have implemented censorship policies in the first place. When all is said and done, social media platforms are businesses. They exist to make money and survive in an increasingly competitive market. As such, they must do what they can to protect their bottom line.