Facebook tightens policies against hate speech as advertising ban hits home

Zuckerberg loses billions after Verizon and others pull ads over offensive posts

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The same day we hear that Unilever had made a decision to pull its major ad dollars from both Facebook and Twitter for the remainder of this election year, Mark Zuckerberg just announced that the company will - after months of mush-mouthed justifications otherwise - begin to label posts by politicians that spread misinformation or otherwise violate Facebook policies.

Shares plunged 8.3 per cent on the news, eliminating US$56 billion (S$78 billion) in market value. Facebook, which already prohibits advertising that discriminates, also sharpened those policies on Friday with a clause saying no ads will be allowed if they label another demographic as risky, or if they portray immigrants, migrant groups or refugees as inferior and worthy of disgust.

The "Stop Hate For Profit" initiative comes amid the fallout from the death of George Floyd.

"Even if a politician or government official says it, if we determine that content may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote, we will take that content down", he said. "We also expect greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners".

The upcoming election is a major topic of offensive and hateful posts on Facebook and Instagram- Zuckerberg loses billions after Verizon and others pull ads over offensive posts
The upcoming election is a major topic of offensive and hateful posts on Facebook and Instagram

"If this is the response he's giving to major advertisers withdrawing millions of dollars from the company, we can't trust [Zuckerberg's] leadership", Mr Robinson said. Their selections arrived soon after a simply call from civil-legal rights teams such as the Anti-Defamation League and NAACP final 7 days to pull ad investing from Facebook for the thirty day period of July.

Coca-Cola is pausing "paid advertising on all social media platforms globally for a least 30 days", it said in a statement.

The bulk of Zuckerberg's appearance on Facebook Live was devoted to the upcoming presidential election in the USA, and he said, "The 2020 elections were already shaping up to be incredibly heated before we faced the complexities of a pandemic and racial injustice". But now the social network is going to label them.

In a statement on Friday the company, which owns ice cream firm Ben & Jerry's, said it was not going to advertise with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the United States until at least the end of the year. The company, which owns brands like Dove and Lipton, said that "continuing to advertise on those platforms would not add value to people".

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In addition, Zuckerberg announced that it would start labeling harmful and abusive posts from all of its users, including politicians. The firm spends more on Facebook than on any other platform other than Google.

"We do not make policy modifications tied to profits strain", Facebook's vice president of World-wide Small business Group Carolyn Everson stated in an e-mail, in accordance to the report. Twitter, by contrast, slapped a "get the facts" label on them. These include attaching links to Facebook's US Voting Information Center for posts that discuss voting, including from politician, banning posts that make certain false claims to discourage voting, and a pledge to more quickly remove false claims about polling conditions in the 72 hours leading into election day.

Trump shared the same message on social media giant Facebook, where it remained intact and received more than 130,000 likes and has been shared more than 5400 times.

"There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media".

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Sarah Personette, Twitter's vice president for global client solutions, said in a statement: "We have developed policies and platform capabilities created to protect and serve the public conversation, and as always, are committed to amplifying voices from underrepresented communities and marginalized groups".

She added that Twitter is "respectful of our partners' decisions and will continue to work and communicate closely with them during this time".

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