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An Update on Our Publisher and Moderation Standards and Enforcement

By OpenWeb

OpenWeb has a vision to build a healthier web. We talk about this a lot, and it’s really important to us. With such ambitious goals, we have a responsibility to think about how all of our actions—not just the tech we build—affect not only our business, but our industry and our society.

Building OpenWeb over the past few years, we’ve learned a lot about our company and our products. As we continue to grow, so too will our responsibility—and we take that seriously. OpenWeb was created to change things. Doing that requires iteration and constant improvement. What follows in this blog post will help to chart our path forward as we take the next step toward achieving our vision.

Last week, some concerns were raised about a few of our partners, and about our commitment to decreasing toxicity in online conversations. Nadav, our CEO and co-founder, acknowledged some of these concerns late last week in a blog post, and outlined the immediate action to begin addressing them. But that was just a start. To live up to our values, we will continue to act.

Today, we’re committing publicly to taking accountability, and to taking more action. As of last week, we formed two initial internal committees dedicated to significantly improving our “Publisher Standards Policy” and our “Moderation Standards.” To date, these committees have:

  • Worked with 3rd-parties including Global Disinformation Index experts to create and release our first public-facing policies on criteria for publishers and user-generated content moderation (linked above and below);
  • Terminated 13 publishers from the OpenWeb network who we determined did not align with our Publisher Standards policy;
  • Began rolling out enforcement of Global Standards for user-generated content per the OpenWeb Moderation Standards; and
  • Charted a course to continue to improve these policies.

You can read more detail about the policies here:

  1. OpenWeb Publisher Standards
  2. OpenWeb Moderation Standards

Doing this has required us to take a wider review of our processes and we are already finding more ways to improve. These policies — and the actions we’re taking — are not final and are intended to be our initial step toward transparency about how we work to create a healthier web. 

As we continue to develop and enact these policies over the coming days and weeks, we’ll stay open. We will continue to publicly share the outcomes of these committees, the details of our policies, and—as much as is possible—our corresponding actions. 

Voices from outside of OpenWeb helped us move this process faster. For that, we’re truly thankful. Sticking to our vision for a healthier web will guide us on the best course of action, but we continue to welcome healthy dialogue and debate about our policies. If you see a way to improve them, tell us.

We can’t promise to be perfect, but we do promise to openly communicate while we continue to improve. We look forward to continuing this conversation.

Let’s have a conversation.

Right now OpenWeb has a limited number of partners we can work with in order to provide the highest quality service to each and every one. Let us know you’re interested and stay informed about how OpenWeb is empowering publishers and advertisers to change online conversations for good.