Facebook began testing the feature in the spring, which allows people to send anonymous complaints, or praise, for businesses that advertise on the platform. If a business racks up a “statistically significant” number of negative reviews, Facebook will reduce the number of people its ads reach or completely disable its account, Facebook Product Marketing Director Sarah Epps told BuzzFeed News.
“No one wins when people have a bad shopping experience,” she said. “It’s bad for people, bad for good business, and bad for Facebook. And we’re committed to improving our advertising on our platform.”
The announcement comes after a 2016 BuzzFeed News investigation found that a string of shady dress companies, which relied heavily on misleading Facebook ads, frequently stole images from Instagram influencers or legitimate retailers to advertise their clothing. Shoppers complained the products they received were completely different from what was advertised, and some of them smelled strongly of chemicals like formaldehyde.
Facebook’s Epps told BuzzFeed News that the information the company collects from shoppers will be shared anonymously with advertisers. The feedback will appear in the businesses’ ad dashboards, where they can see scores based on user ratings and areas of improvement based on feedback.
“A lot of businesses want to improve. They are local businesses and this is new information that they aren’t meeting needs of customers,” said Epps. “For companies that don’t want to improve, we have no tolerance and we’ll enforce against them as appropriate.”