Facebook's new guidelines could block news outlets from ad revenue

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In its latest step to combat false stories and sensational headlines on its platform, Facebook (FB -0.2%) has narrowed its rules about who can earn ad money and how. Facebook is also banning ads from content that focuses on real world tragedies like "depictions of death, casualties, physical injuries", or "debated social issues", including attacks on people or groups.

Facebook has laid down formal rules for what sort of content can be monetized.

The company is not only clamping down on what can be monetized, it is also doing more to keep advertisers happy, including using third-party verification to measure ad performance.

On Wednesday, Facebook said it would seek accreditation from the Media Ratings Council, a USA non-profit organisation, for audience measurement services.

Facebook will also step up its monitoring of hate speech, adding 3,000 content reviewers to almost double the size of its existing team. At launch, this tool will give advertisers a preview of partners using Instant Articles and in-stream videos on Facebook as well as publishers monetizing their sites and apps via Audience Network. That will start rolling out next week with full-lists available by Ocotober. "Which is why today, we're introducing new monetization eligibility standards that will provide clearer guidance around the types of publishers and creators eligible to earn money on Facebook, and the kind of content that can be monetized".

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These standards would apply to ad placements where context could matter, Everson wrote in the post, timed to coincide with an appearance on Wednesday by Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg at dmexco, a major digital marketing gathering in Cologne, Germany.

At the same time, Facebook's vice president of media partnerships, Nick Grudin, used a blog post to introduce the new content monetization standards and guidelines.

Those who share content that repeatedly violates our Content Guidelines for Monetization, share clickbait or sensationalism, or post misinformation and false news may be ineligible or may lose their eligibility to monetize.

But one part of the rules may generate the most controversy. If what's published is deemed to be in violation of these guidelines, publishers will be notified that ads have been removed from the material - a decision that can be appealed.

Facebook is also banning ads from running on content that "promotes the sale or use of illegal products, services, or activities;" promotes "the excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking, or drug use;" or contains "excessive use of derogatory language".