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30 Jun 2020

Alex Hern, The Guardian

Third of advertisers may boycott Facebook in hate speech revolt

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Almost a third of advertisers are considering joining a month-long boycott of Facebook as the social network struggles to convince advertisers that it is doing enough to fight hate speech on its platform... Ford and Adidas announced their intention to halt all advertising on the platform, joining corporations including Honda, Verizon, Diageo and Unilever. Others, including Starbucks and Coca-Cola, have paused all advertising on social media but stopped short of officially announcing support for the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign... The boycott is also spreading outside the US. On Tuesday, Britvic, the owner of drinks brands including Fruit Shoot and Robinsons, said it was suspending all advertising on Facebook platforms next month, and called on the social media platform “to take stronger actions against harmful content and misinformation on its platform”... VW said it was also joining the boycott, along with Honda Europe and Ford Europe. The French state-owned utility EDF, which owns EDF Energy... has also vetoed Facebook advertising.

... Mars said it was halting its social media advertising across all platforms until further notice. In a statement to the Guardian, the company said: “Social media platforms play an important role in society, but equally, they have a powerful role to play in stopping the spread of hate speech and misinformation. “There is no room for discrimination in a healthy society. Mars has a responsibility and an opportunity to make a meaningful and measurable difference in the fight against racism, hate, violence and discrimination – we expect all of the social media platform partners we work with to do the same.”... Microsoft revealed it had suspended all US spending on Facebook platforms in May, and had since expanded the move globally.