Verizon pulls ads from Facebook over inaction on hate speech – The Guardian

Verizon is pulling its advertising from Instagram and Facebook, the greatest name so far in a growing movement to boycott the social network for not doing enough to stop hate speech on its platforms.

The business stated on Thursday it will join other companies including Ben & & Jerrys, Patagonia and REI in suspending advertising from Facebook-owned platforms up until the business “can produce an appropriate option that makes us comfortable”.
” We have rigorous material policies in location and have absolutely no tolerance when they are breached, we do something about it,” Verizons chief media officer, John Nitti, said in a declaration. “Were pausing our advertising until Facebook can develop an appropriate solution that makes us comfortable and follows what weve made with YouTube and other partners.”
Facebook acknowledged the growing pressure on a call with marketers on Wednesday, where a Facebook executive admitted there is a “trust deficit” with its customers on the platform.
The “Stop Hate for Profit” project was released Wednesday by advocacy groups consisting of the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP and Color Of Change. It asks marketers to pressure the tech giant to adopt more stringent policies against racist and hateful material on its platforms by pausing all spending on marketing with the business for the month of July.
As part of the project, the groups signaled Verizon that one of its advertisements on Facebook had actually appeared next to a video from the conspiracy group QAnon making use of antisemitic and despiteful rhetoric.
Facebook makes $70bn in annual advertising income while “enhancing the messages of white supremacists” and “permitting incitement to violence”, according to the project.
The advocacy groups argue Facebook has stopped working to deal with misinformation and hate speech by making Breitbart News a “relied on news source” in spite of its history of working with white nationalists and neo-Nazis, presumably permitting real estate discrimination versus neighborhoods of color, and failing to remove Holocaust rejection posts.
The pressure on Facebook to moderate hate speech has sped up in current weeks as the platform refused to flag incendiary and false statements from Donald Trump, in spite of relocations from rival platform Twitter to do so.
A current study by the Anti-Defamation League found that the large majority (77%) of online harassment experienced by respondents happened on Facebook.
” There is more progress to be made but we continue to make considerable investments in innovation and processes to assist us get rid of hate, harassment and bullying from Facebook,” a company representative stated in response to the research study.
In reaction to the advertiser boycotts, Carolyn Everson, the vice-president of Facebooks international organisation group, stated in a declaration: “We deeply appreciate any brands decision, and remain concentrated on the essential work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information.”