More than 80 brands join the movement to stop advertising on Facebook – here’s why – National


A number of civil rights groups have called on big business to stop Facebook advertising to pressure social media giant to take more concrete action to end hate speech and hate speech. spread of disinformation on its platforms.On June 17, a coalition of civil rights and advocacy groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, the National Association for the Promotion of Colored People, the Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense created the #StopHateForProfit campaign and urged companies to stop advertising on Facebook and its other social media platforms in July.

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According to the campaign website, the move is a response to “Facebook’s long history of allowing racist, violent, and obviously bogus content to run rampant on its platform.”

“The campaign will organize pressure from businesses and the public to demand that Facebook stop generating advertising revenue from hateful content, provide more support for people who are victims of racism and hatred, and increase the safety of private groups on the platform, among other measures, ”reads the website.

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement that Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg were “not just careless,” but “complacent in spreading disinformation, despite irreversible damage.” to our democracy ”.

Johnson said these actions “will upset the integrity” of the 2020 presidential election.

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“We will not defend this,” he said. “While we recognize the value Facebook brings to connecting people of color, we are questioning a platform that benefits from the removal of black votes or black voices. “

Facebook announced on Friday that it would start reporting all “noteworthy” messages, including those from politicians who violate its social media policies.

But, as of Saturday morning, more than 80 companies were listed as participants on the campaign website.

Here are some of the brands that have suspended their advertising campaigns:

Coca-Cola Company

Coca-Cola Company announced on Saturday that it would suspend all paid advertising on social media platforms for 30 days.

“There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social networks,” reads a statement from the company’s CEO, James Quincey. .

“We will take this time to reassess our advertising policies to determine if revisions are necessary,” he said. “We are also expecting greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners.”

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Levis Strauss and Co

In a statement released Friday, Levi’s Brand’s marketing director Jen Sey announced that the company would join the #StopHateForProfit campaign and suspend all paid Facebook and Instagram ads around the world “at least until the end of July”.

“As a company driven by our values, at Levi Strauss & Co., we have a responsibility to speak up and act when we see major issues that affect our employees, our fans and the community at large” , says the press release. “It is with this in mind that we express our concern over Facebook’s inability to stop the spread of disinformation and hate speech on its platform.

“We believe that this inaction fuels racism and violence and can also threaten our democracy and the integrity of our elections.”

Sey said that when the company chooses to re-engage “it will depend on Facebook’s response.”

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In a series of tweets last week, outdoor clothing company Patagonia announced that it would join the campaign, removing all Facebook and Instagram ads until the end of July, “pending significant action from the media giant social ”.

“For too long, Facebook hasn’t taken sufficient steps to stop the spread of hateful lies and dangerous propaganda on its platform,” said Cory Bayers, chief marketing officer, Patagonia. “From secure elections to a global pandemic to racial justice, the stakes are too high to sit back and let the company continue to be complicit in spreading disinformation and fomenting fear and hatred.”

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Consumer goods multinational Unilever announced in a statement on its website that it would suspend advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the United States.

“The polarized atmosphere places an increased responsibility on brands to build a reliable and secure digital ecosystem,” the statement said. “Our action begins now until the end of 2020.”

In a tweet, Ben & Jerry’s applauded Unilever’s announcement, saying he was proud that his parent company “stood up against hate speech and divisions during this polarizing election season.”

What did Facebook say?

On Friday, Facebook Inc. announced that it would start tagging content of interest that violates social media company policies, and tagging all voting publications and advertisements with links to authoritative information, including understood those of politicians.

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“The policies we are implementing today are designed to respond to the reality of the challenges our country faces and the way they manifest in our community,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook article.

Facebook also prohibits false allegations aimed at discouraging voting, such as stories of federal agents checking the legal status of polling stations. The company also said it is increasing its enforcement capacity to remove false allegations regarding local voting conditions in the 72 hours before the 2020 presidential election.

Zuckerberg also said the social network would ban ads that claim that people belonging to groups based on race, religion, sexual orientation or immigration status pose a threat to safety or physical health.

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“There is no exception for politicians in any of the policies I am announcing here today,” wrote Zuckerberg.

But, the StopHateForProfit campaign has stated that these steps do not go far enough and do not adequately address hatred and disinformation on Facebook Inc. platforms.

“We have already followed this path with Facebook,” says the campaign website. “They have apologized in the past. They have taken meager measures after each disaster in which their platform has played a role. ”

“But it has to end now.” “

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The campaign calls on Facebook to take 10 steps to improve accountability, improve their policies and eliminate hatred from their platforms.

“Facebook is a business with incredible resources,” says the website. “We hope they finally understand that society wants them to devote more of these resources to the hard work of transforming the potential of the largest communication platform in human history into a force for good.”

–With files from Reuters and The Associated Press


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