To curb predatory behaviour and scams, Facebook is now restricting ads for addiction treatment centers and banning ads promoting bail bonds.
Based on feedback from user and experts, Facebook is updating its Ads Policies on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network, to try to curb predatory behaviour and scams targeting people facing addiction, or those with loved ones in need of bail. Thus, from now on “only pre-certified addiction treatment centers” will be able to advertise in the United States. Also, from now on, Facebook ads that promote bail bonds will be banned.
More and more people struggle with addiction, and therefore many addiction treatment centers have emerged “which fail to meet basic healthcare quality standards.” Facebook warns that the main issue with these centers in that they are part of insurance scams and “many keep people in a cycle of addiction with unproven treatment methods.”
In partnership with the LegitScript third-party certification service, Facebook will prevent these bad actors “from marketing their services” on its platform.
Addiction treatment centers that would like to advertise in the US on Facebook will need to certify themselves with LegitScript. Their “background, qualifications, compliance with state legal and regulatory licensing requirements and privacy practices” will be reviewed for this purpose.
Once approved, they will need to apply, and Facebook will review LegitScript’s certification.
In addition to the above, Facebook is putting an end to ads for bail bonds on its platform, a practice that often leaves family members of people in need of bail bonds “vulnerable to exploitative bail bond offers that can lead to insurmountable debt.”
Facebook has previously banned ads that promote certain kinds of “short-term loans, like payday loans,” and is now prohibiting bail bonds ads as well. On its decision, Facebook says it “consulted a wide range of policy experts, advocates and community organisations working in criminal justice to ensure [it’s] taking the right approach.