Man behind Facebook’s controversial ad policies leaves the firm

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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According to an internal company post, global social media giant Facebook will be without its chief of advertising integrity, Mr. Rob Leathern as he moved on from the organization on December 30. 

Earlier this month, Mr. Leathern who was primarily associated with the social media platforms as its director of product management had written on Facebook’s internal network that he would be leaving the company on the said date.

Facebook’s advertising platform which has been its biggest revenue contributor had also been its biggest talking point in 2020 for the lack of transparency in dealing with advertisements around sensitive subjects such as politics and coronavirus misinformation.

The platform was often criticized for its incompetence to control misleading claims and conspiracy theories on the platform which were spread widely on its platforms.

Even though the platform had responded to the criticism and had barred political ads during the run-off to the November Presidential election, Mr. Leathern had tweeted that the firm did not have “the technical ability in the short term to enable political ads by state or by the advertiser.” while creating an impression of incompetence to manage those ads.

The platform has since reinstated political ads ahead of the Jan. 5 elections in Georgia which will decide which party controls the U.S. Senate.

Facebook also saw major corporate clients such as Verizon, Coca-Cola and Unilever leave its advertising platform as part of the “Hate Speech” campaign which singled out the social media platform for not doing enough or engaging with the relevant stakeholders in curbing hateful content on the platform.

In his internal post, Mr. Leathern revealed that he was “leaving Facebook to work on consumer privacy beyond just ads and social media.” He is yet to reveal his next engagement or the organization is going to associate with.