Facebook adds labels as Unilever joins boycott

Facebook adds labels as Unilever joins boycott

"Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society", the maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, said."We will revisit our current position if necessary".

Under the new policies, Facebook will ban ads that claim people from a specific race, ethnicity, nationality, caste, gender, sexual orientation or immigration origin are a threat to the physical safety or health of anyone else.

Unilever said it took the move to protest the amount of hate speech online. "Whether or not these posts technically violate Facebook's complicated guidelines around hate speech, as a result of the platform's casual placement of ads, paid advertisements run a risk of being placed next to divisive (and sometimes blatantly hateful) content", the ADL said in a blog post.

The firm said it would halt Twitter, Facebook and Instagram advertising in the USA "at least" through 2020.

"I hope companies advertising on Facebook were watching - if they want to put their money where their mouth is on racial justice, then it's time to #StopHateForProfit", he said.

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.

Last night, Verizon (which owns TechCrunch) said it will be pausing advertising on Facebook and Instagram "until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with what we've done with YouTube and other partners".

"Often, seeing speech from politicians is in the public interest, and in the same way that news outlets will report what a politician says, we think people should generally be able to see it for themselves on our platforms", he wrote.

We will soon start labeling some of the content we leave up because it is deemed newsworthy, so people can know when this is the case. "But I also stand against hate or anything that incites violences or suppresses voting, and we're committed to removing that content too, no matter where it comes from".

The boycott, branded #StopHateForProfit, has resulted in almost 100 major brands either pulling their advertising from Facebook or threatening to do so starting in July, citing Facebook's "repeated failure to meaningfully address the vast proliferation of hate on its platforms." .

Shares of Facebook and Twitter both fell more than 7% on Friday.

While Zuckerberg did not mention the boycott directly, it was clear from the policies he outlined that Facebook is trying to appease its critics.

The list of companies who have agreed to pull their advertising from Facebook also includes outdoor brands like REI, The North Face and Patagonia.

The steps around election year violence supplement other efforts that the company has taken to combat the spread of misinformation around voting rights on the platform.

"If this is the response he's giving to major advertisers withdrawing millions of dollars from the company, we can't trust his leadership", he wrote on Twitter.

Editor's note: Facebook and Unilever are among NPR's financial supporters.

The latest company to fall in line is household products company Unilever, which has one of the largest advertising budgets in the world.

Why it matters: This is Facebook's attempt to thread the needle between allowing inflammatory posts from politicians and tamping down on problematic content.

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