Facebook Ad Boycott: Brands Pulling Ads From Facebook Over Hate Speech


Although Facebook on Friday announced content and advertising policy changes hours after Unilever - the world's largest advertiser - announced that it is suspending advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the US, the cascade of major advertisers "pausing" social media advertising continues.

Zuckerberg looks as anxious as ever reading from a teleprompter in a live-stream he chose to share of an internal town-hall meeting at Facebook on Friday.

Zuckerberg said there will be no exceptions to these policies.

Diageo said: "From 1 July, we will pause all paid advertising globally on major social media platforms".

"The spokesperson added, as a company, we stand for the values of togetherness and inclusion and we are resolute in our commitment to make a difference and be part of positive change".

A handful of United States companies have pulled advertising from Facebook Inc in support of a campaign that called out the social media giant for not doing enough to stop hate speech on its platforms.

The campaign specifically asks businesses not to advertise on Facebook's platforms in July, though Twitter has also always been urged to clean up alleged abuses and misinformation on its platform.

For more than a week now, the civil rights groups the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League have been calling on all corporate brands to pause advertising on the social network through July.

Zuckerberg said the "newsworthy" exemption normally occurs "a handful of times a year", when Facebook decides to leave up a message that would ordinarily be removed for rule violations.

Zuckerberg has defended leaving the post untouched, saying Facebook should allow for as much free expression as possible.

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Citing "divisiveness and hate speech during this polarized election period in the U.S.", Unilever went on to explain in a statement, "Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society".

While there is no evidence that any deal was struck between Trump and Zuckerberg, and the Times added that "officials at Facebook and in the administration scoff at the notion that there is some kind of secret pact", Trump seems to have been softer toward Facebook than other social media platforms. Color of Change, one of the groups backing the boycott, said that almost 100 advertisers have joined.

Facebook said it would attach labels to all posts across its network that discuss the subject of voting, in a move meant to hamper any disenfranchisement of voters in the November election.

Facebook's stock dropped 8% in Friday trading, following Unilever's announcement. And it will put labels on all posts discussing voting, linking to "authoritativeinformation".

Zuckerberg also defended his company's record on removing hate speech, which he said had increased from 82.6% to 86% in the past year.

Responding to demands for more action, Facebook on Sunday acknowledged it has more work to do and is teaming up with civil rights groups and experts to develop more tools to fight hate speech.

Twitter, however, did flag such posts with a link for users to get more information about mail-in voting.

Sarah Personette, vice-president of global client solutions at Twitter, said the company's "mission is to serve the public conversation and ensure Twitter is a place where people can make human connections, seek and receive authentic and credible information, and express themselves freely and safely".

The consumer goods giant's decision is the biggest escalation so far in a campaign to force social media companies to crack down on harmful content on their platforms. Twitter said it respected the advertisers' decisions and would continue to communicate closely with them, according to the story.