A growing number of big brands are boycotting Facebook ads in response to how the social media giant polices hate speech and violence on its service.
Consumer products titan Unilever joined the list on Friday, saying it would pause its ads through the end of the year on not only Facebook, but also its sister service, Instagram, in addition to Twitter.
“Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society,” the company said in a statement on Friday.
More than 90 advertisers have now joined the boycott including Verizon, Patagonia, and Eddie Bauer. A number of small businesses are also taking part, though their retreat isn’t expected to have much of an impact on Facebook’s business.
The campaign, called #StopHateForProfit, began last week after a group of organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Color of Change, asked businesses to stop buying ads on Facebook in July. For years, the groups have complained about how Facebook moderates its site.
The organizations accuse Facebook of being indifferent to posts inciting violence during the recent protests for racial justice, for designating conservative news site Breitbart News a “trusted news source,” and for failing to fight attempts to suppress voting.
Under pressure, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Friday announced new policies to mollify advertisers. For example, Facebook will no longer allow ads claiming that people from a specific race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or immigration status are a threat to others. It also will add warnings to posts from politicians, for instance, that may otherwise violate its policies. The company also said it would remove false claims about polling conditions in the 72 hours leading into Election Day.
Following Unilever’s announcement about joining the boycott, Facebook’s stock dropped more than 8%, trading at $216.08 per share at the close of regular trading.
Here are some of the well-known companies that are participating in the boycott so far.
- The North Face
- Ben & Jerry’s
- Eddie Bauer
- Magnolia Pictures
Coca-Cola also said it was pausing ads on all social media, but it isn’t joining the boycott.
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