Brand safety is human safety

Maybe we’ve all been looking at it wrong?

When we talk about brand safety, what we’re really talking about is people. After all, people are at the core of everything we do, whether they’re using our products and services, populating our communities, or coming to work every day to make our brands what they are. 

People tell us what they care about. What matters to them most. They use their voices to impact our businesses and the world around us. And as this movement for conscious consumption continues to grow exponentially, we need to find more ways to support them. 

Yet, brand safety in practice feels anything but personal — an endless problem with layers upon layers of confusion, oversimplifications, and reactive responses. 

But it doesn’t have to be like that. The social media landscape can be a safer place by serving the public conversation and creating an atmosphere in which everyone feels comfortable, secure, and confident enough to share their voice. 

And while Twitter’s current mission already recognises that focusing on people is our priority, we still have work to do. Through our policies, products, and partnerships, we’re already seeing progress happen, and we’ll continue to invest in brand safety to make Twitter a safer place for all. Here’s how we’re doing it.

Starting with policies that lead.

People need accurate information. About COVID-19 vaccines. About the things that impact so many of us. To achieve that high standard, Twitter is always reviewing its policies against misinformation and has started labelling Tweets that we consider problematic in an effort to encourage the right behaviour on the platform. And by having these policies in place — focusing on people and their conversations first — we’re creating an environment that helps keep brands safe from supporting misinformation.

Delivering products that protect.

As a platform that encourages conversation, how can we enable them to feel safe for all? By continuing to experiment with innovative features, like Safety Mode, which temporarily blocks accounts for using potentially harmful language or flooding your Tweet with unwanted replies. So people feel more comfortable and in control of their experience.

Through products such as Twitter Amplify, we give brands more control over what content they associate with via an Amplify Pre-roll publisher criteria, third-party audits of content safety, and the option for blocking or selecting certain publishers or categories. In fact, in recent OpenSlate research, 100% of Amplify videos examined met the Global Alliance For Responsible Media (GARM) brand safety standards. These products not only keep brands safe — they ensure people on Twitter see safer sponsored content, too. And that makes Twitter a safer platform for all.

Partnering with organisations to drive industry-wide change.

Twitter is driving change when it comes to brand safety with key partnerships in the advertising industry, such as IAB and 4A’s and with watchgroup organisations like Digital Trust and Safety Partnership and the Global Internet Forum. Through our partnership with the GARM, for example, we have been able to contribute to the creation of the industry-standard Brand Safety Floor and Suitability Framework. And with many more valued partners, we’re learning, collaborating, and taking action that not only makes Twitter more brand-safe, but creates a standard for keeping content safe for people, too.

Putting people first can help your brand too.

The right tools and partnerships are paramount when creating a safe environment, but brands can also increase consumer confidence when they get out there, engage with the community directly, and recognise their voices. 

More than just generating goodwill, it creates a community-wide ‘oh, they get me’ moment. When it comes to interactions on Twitter, those are invaluable. 

Make people comfortable by listening.

Listen closely. Can you hear it? There’s a conversation happening around your brand. Now it’s your turn to acknowledge it and contribute to it. And when you nurture the relationship you have with people on Twitter and give them the space for telling you what’s important to them, it can benefit your brand. That’s the power of engagement. Now, join the conversation.

Build and encourage a confident community.

The superfan. The advocates. The ALL CAPS diehards. There’s a community out there that will support and celebrate your brand when you’re actively helping others feel confident in being themselves. Just as long as those expressions are sincere and authentic, your community will support you as you show up during both bright moments and challenging times. Sure, there may be times in which naysayers and detractors will try to throw you off balance, but the community that loves your brand will have your back and protect you against the toxicity.

Celebrate inclusive voices. 

Authenticity is everything. A mantra so important that brand managers should practically tattoo this on themselves to never forget it. But just as important is inclusivity — bringing diverse communities in and giving them a share of the mic makes us safer and stronger collectively.

Let’s keep moving forward together.

This won’t be easy. It may even seem challenging. It’s our goal as an industry to create the safest possible environment for the people that use our platforms, engage with our media, and connect with our brands to contribute to a longer lasting and more profound impact on brand safety.

Because ultimately, behind every Tweet is a breathing, thinking, and feeling individual who wrote it. A passionate individual with a voice. And it’s our job to empower them, protect them, and encourage them, so they can share that voice freely.

Learn even more about brand safety here and how improving the health of the public conversation is a top priority for Twitter.

November 18, 2021
  • Perspective

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