Starbucks Suspends Social Media Ads for Hate Speech

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Starbucks has announced that it will suspend advertising on certain social media platforms in response to hate speech.

The coffee giant joins global brands such as Coca-Cola, Diageo and Unilever which have recently removed advertising from social platforms.

A spokesperson for Starbucks told the BBC that the social media “break” would not include Google-owned YouTube.

“We believe in bringing communities together, in person and online,” Starbucks said in a statement.

The brand said it “would have discussions internally and with media partners and civil rights organizations to stop the spread of hate speech.” But he will continue to publish on social networks without paid promotion, he added.

The announcement came after Coca-Cola called for “greater accountability” from social media companies.

Coca Cola said it would suspend advertising on all social media platforms around the world, while Unilever, owner of Ben & Jerry ice cream, said it would stop advertising on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at United States “at least” until 2020.

The announcements follow controversy over Facebook’s approach to moderating content on its platform – seen by many as too casual. This came after Facebook announced on Friday that it would start labeling potentially harmful or misleading posts that have been left behind for their topical value.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook would also ban advertising containing claims that “people of a race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or specific immigration status ”pose a threat to others.


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Media captionMark Zuckerberg told BBC’s Simon Jack that Facebook “would eliminate” coronavirus misinformation

#StopHateforProfit campaign organizers, who accused Facebook of not doing enough to stop hate speech and misinformation, said “the small number of small changes” would not “make the problem go”.

Starbucks said that even if it suspended advertising on certain social platforms, it would not join the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Over 90 companies have suspended advertising in support of #StopHateforProfit.

Coca-Cola also told CNBC that its advertising suspension did not mean that it joined the campaign, although it is listed as a “participating business”.

The campaign called on Zuckerberg to take further action, including establishing a permanent civil rights “infrastructure” within Facebook; submit to independent identity-based hate and misinformation audits; find and delete public and private groups posting such content; and the creation of teams of experts to examine complaints.

Facebook saw its advertising revenue increase by 27% over the previous year last year.

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