Last week, our team went to AdExchanger’s Industry Preview where top leaders in the advertising and marketing technology industry gathered to discuss their visions for 2020 and beyond. On Wednesday our CEO Nadav Shoval took the stage making the case for quality conversations online. Here are our top takeaways from his speech:
Algorithms Have Been Rewarding Bad Behavior
During the rise of social media, (and still today) algorithms have promoted and incentivized extreme content and comments. The more extreme, the more engagement and therefore the more revenue a publisher would receive, but that revenue as Nadav describes has come with a price, “the price of hate.” It is this cost that hurts all aspects of the media industry – brands, publishers and users.
We Must Take Ownership
While it is easy to think that social media is the blame for this shift everyone in the media industry should be held accountable. “We are the media industry. We are responsible for the source truth,” Nadav emphasized. The media cannot rely on traffic from “walled gardens” to solve its problems. We must find new ways to build a sustainable business. Currently, 90% of publishers’ profits come for 10% of their users. So, maintaining and nurturing audience loyalty is essential for a healthy business.
We Can Incentivize for Civility and Respect
So, how do we fix the online civility crisis? “We can incentivize users to engage without blaming and hating others,” Nadav explained. “We believe that participating in extreme conversations does not give a lot of value except anxiety.” Instead, we believe there can be a new equation: civility + value = quality. Quality occurs when we eliminate toxicity and promote content that is additive to the conversation. If technology is able to filter for extremes it can also be used to filter for quality.
Quality is a Virtuous Cycle
A safe environment supports more user engagement and also creates a brand-safe environment for advertisers, which leads to an increase in revenue. The focus on civility not only solves a major societal problem, but it helps build sustainable business models for publishers.
Follow Nadav on Twitter here.