Google, Facebook, Product Manager discussed on The Product Experience


Ad Tech Gift so we don't know what the solution is like like we like. I'm not the product manager of Google ad words like I don't know how to fix your problems your business. You solve it but we we know where you could start so they've never we've never offered absolutely a technical solution we've never even offered up a blacklist to be honest with you because that was something that people started to ask us very early on saying okay. What other websites should we not be. John and we said well first of all we don't have the resources to figure that out because obviously anyone can just make website and end up in Google's ad network right right so there's no way for us to be able to maintain socialist but more importantly. We don't feel that it's our role to make those decisions in your role as brand. You have to decide where you're going to appear. We're not gonNA appear and if it turns out that the businesses that you've entrusted with your advertising thank you know namely Google and facebook have chosen to not care for your brand. Not Treat your brand in a in a safe way than you ought to take it up with them. That's your message at this point. You got it to them so let's talk a little bit about when it goes wrong so there are plenty of companies. He's that have had suffered real reputational problems from how they've handled things in his face Amazon wayfair Google of all have and I think cloudflare's affairs an example that you've talked about in the past. Can you talk a little bit about what he looks like when he goes wrong for a company when they respond to this battle I think companies haven't haven't really kept up with the tides of of consumer attitudes and consumer perceptions since twenty sixteen things have changed just really quickly in terms of how consumers understand businesses on how consumers view businesses on their role in this like politically leap charged environments We've seen a lot of examples of like I don't know mashing and you know I don't know like what people people are up to like these boycotts and things like that we have been I would say at sleeping giants. We've been sort of educating the public around around how tech companies are fueling sort of the bad stuff that we see around us. The you know the white nationalism the racism and the the hate speech that we see online that we see manifesting offline and I think the result of our work is that consumers feel empowered word to make change because they can see. It's right in front of them. They can see that if they speak up. companies have to respond so that's become almost most a habit people understand people feel not only empowered but they have an expectation that they will be responded to and companies aren't and I think right now with as mentioned with wayfair and Amazon and even Pailin Tier of cloudflare with all these companies. I don't think they've kept up with us. It's like it's like whiplash has happened. Just in the course of two years haven't kept up with this change. This tidal wave in the way that consumers are willing to speak up and and and be hard and you had to something had happened just a couple of weeks ago with was pay pal who is taking KKK payments. I was researching aging for a talk. I was giving it tearing best and I went to look up a fresh example of a hate group using payment processors. All he did was typing. KKK and I don't know something else I don't know and I ended up on a website and I saw that they were soliciting donations using paypal and and I tweeted it out at the company and I guess a week or so later it got picked up and when a little bit viral and another twitter account based in Canada came out and encourage their followers to right into pay pal and get it taken down and Paul responded. They took down. It's amazing thing isn't. NFL like these companies. It's very reactive instead of proactive intensive. How managing this at the moment by guess. Yo- oh you'll mission is to make it so that you don't ever have to highlight it is that right and then I mean why like it's almost like they just view us. As is there free labor like we're just we're like their free volunteers flagging it for them. You know we do the work. They respond if they feel like it. I I have flocked up like at least five other groups with pay pal and individuals and have not heard back about it. They haven't really done on anything about it. one of them is in fact a white nationalist named. Stephan Mahlangu and he is straight up like a dangerous white nationalist individual visual he he he shouldn't be using pay out like he shouldn't be allowed to to to use pay pal but he collects monthly subscriptions inscriptions from his his yours were huge following on youtube and he's able to monetize not using paypal and when you say you shouldn't be allowed. That's not based on it. Just your own personal politics. That's their terms of service isn't it. Oh it has nothing to do with politics. It's a hundred percent to do with their own acceptable use policy they have in their acceptable optimal use policy a clause that says we don't work with he groups we don't work with anyone that promotes heat or intolerance or bigotry and they doubled down on it after the twenty seventeen. CHARLOTTESVILLE rally that was deadly one woman was was murdered at this rally the came out and they they used it as a PR opportunity to you know to say that they were dedicated to committed to combating violence and making sure that none of these groups us pay pal but I mean here they are. It's right in front of them. So what's your advice for product manages the whacking in in companies that are currently supporting in these these hate groups yeah. This is a great question. I think product managers are in a unique position seven. It's a leadership position where they have the opportunity and I think the responsibility to bring these issues up at their companies. the one thing in particular that I encourage folks intact ought to look at to think about is their acceptable use policies who is being allowed to use their platform and who shouldn't be allowed to use their platform and that is not a personal decision that and it shouldn't be personalises should not be up to how you feel about things personally. That's not a healthy way to make decisions for a business. The first thing that a business should be looking at their values their what their business was founded on for a lot of businesses says integrity equality. This is the stuff that you put on your mission statement. You're about as like. It's there in public so you know you have those written down already. Why not abide by them. One one way of thinking about it is if this user or this group or whatever is behaving in a way or working towards their admission that is antithetical to your mission so I mean again if you had like the KKK on growing their business or their organization on your platform that is his directly threatening to your employees or even to your customers. You have the right to say no. We can't work with us. I mean you you make make editorial decisions all the time like this. Whether it's like the type of people you hire the freelances you work with who have code of conduct at Your Business you make these decisions decisions all the time so you are allowed to stand up and say no. We're not gonNA work without with an organization like this. DC Some good examples of acceptable use policies. It's out there. I mean I've seen a lot of great acceptable. Use Policies even pay pal is a great acceptable use policy facial concentrate acceptable use policy not enforcing so so yeah. I mean having US policies is one thing the other thing is you gotta have the Kahane's to enforce them so one thing that I say that. I think I think is really important. If it's important to have these your values written out publicly but it's also important for you to be able to be transparent about your decision so you won't lose the trust of your customers. There's you know you don't want to play it both ways. You don't want to say I will work with anybody. Our company will work at absolutely anybody and then start banning people on on what seems like a sort of your ad hoc basis. That's that's exactly what's getting companies are facebook in trouble you don't want to do what they're doing and this has a real commercial impact essentially actually not only with customers but also internally with recruiting retention and things like that. I know saw the the story about wayfair where they were selling it was found out by the employees that they were selling to the detention camps in Texas and the southern border of the states and it was a real clamor internally early and the CEO defended the practice and you know it's not something I've kept up with a a donald of the full extent of it but that has his knock on well for them from a PR perspective and I can't imagine it's going well the you've got the walkouts in Google and protests there. Is that the way to you know. There's always the moral reason you would say that we should do this. We've got a written in our acceptable use policy but getting people to live up to it and enforce. It is not the way to go about it. Yeah you know I I really don't believe that businesses respond to morals and ethics. I I wish I could say they do do but they respond a lot more quickly to liability to risk ability and and that's what it's become so with wayfair that turned into do a mean dot was at its root moral issue but where it became a business risk was when they couldn't justify it with their employees employees. We're not okay with it. Their employees said we will not build it. We will not sell it. It turned into an embarrassment for that company and what they didn't realize. Is that you know. Employees are consumers as well and they realized that they did have power. You know that company can't go on without its employees and as a result even if you as a business leader dirt don't WanNa make these decisions. Your employees are going to have sort of make that decision for you so just taking it back to the manages. FEM Old people even because awesome is probably not just the manages the wanting to make sure that that businesses behaving morally well aside from influencing acceptable use policies and having good ones hopefully morally acceptable. Is there anything else that we can do in our products that prevents since the entire right-wing extremists and other extremists from monetize ing from this is a really a really tough question. You don't tech was built on this idea that we build our products to scale so we work really hard to get people to click the start a new trial the common customer whatever like that's what we live and die by intact so right now the way that the system is built. It is designed by default to benefit these groups and organizations. It's GonNa take think a real rocketing with what we've created. It's GONNA choir us to step back and think about. Do we even know who were doing business with because we've come to a point where for example pay pal. It doesn't actually know who's on its platform unless someone like me or I don't know just some random person on the internet informs them for months for months. You've the KKK or a white supremacist..

Coming up next