George Floyd: US phone giant Verizon joins boycott of Facebook ads

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The US telecommunications operator Verizon has become the latest large company to remove advertising from Facebook platforms.

The company joins Ben and Jerry’s and a growing list of companies boycotting the social media giant for managing controversial posts.

Verizon is supposed to be the biggest advertiser to date to support the Stop Hate for Profit campaign.

Besides its namesake platform, Facebook’s social media brands also include Instagram and WhatsApp.

“Our brand safety standards have not changed. We are suspending our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and consistent with what we have done with YouTube and other partners, “a spokesperson for Verizon told the BBC.

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Responding to Verizon’s announcement, Carolyn Everson, vice president of Facebook’s Global Business Group, said, “We respect every brand’s decision and stay focused on the important work of suppressing hate speech and providing critical voting information. Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organizations are about how together we can be a force for good. ”

Last year, the social network generated nearly $ 70 billion (£ 56 billion) in advertising revenue.

Brands supporting the campaign

Earlier this week, ice cream maker Ben and Jerry’s and outdoor brands The North Face, Patagonia and REI were among the companies to support Stop Hate for Profit.

Ben and Jerry’s have said they support the campaign and “everyone who calls on Facebook to take more aggressive action to prevent its platforms from being used to divide our nation, suppress voters, foment and stoke the flames of racism and of violence, and undermine our democracy. “.

The death of an African-American man George Floyd in police custody has sparked widespread protests around the world over how the police treat blacks and has exposed racism and inequality in societies.

George Floyd died in Minneapolis in May when a white policeman held his knee by the neck for almost nine minutes.

The last moments were filmed on the phones. Four police officers involved were dismissed and charged for his death.

Stop hatred for profit

The Stop Hate for Profit campaign was launched last week by advocacy groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Color of Change.

The movement said it was a “response to Facebook’s long history of allowing racist, violent, and obviously bogus content to run rampant on its platform.”

Stop Hate for Profit called on advertisers to pressure the company to take tougher measures against racist and hateful content on its platforms by stopping all advertising spending with it throughout July.

A European Commission report this month found that Facebook cut 86% of hate speech last year, down from 82.6%.

The social network says that almost all content that violates its policies is automatically detected by its systems and removed before being reported.

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