Facebook tightens policies amid growing advertiser boycott

Why are companies boycotting Facebook? ‘Stop Hate For Profit’ campaign explained

The coffee chain announced it would "pause" ads on all social networking platforms, not just Facebook, while it held internal discussions with civil rights groups and partners.

Many US companies have moved to "unlike" Facebook and have said that they will not resume spending on advertising on the platform unless it takes decisive action to more effectively crack down on the spread of hateful content.

The goal of the boycott campaign is to force Facebook to intervene in the hate speech and racist content that many say is largely unregulated on the platform.

Starbucks' social media pause will not include YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet's Google, a CNBC report said.

After it was launched earlier this month The "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign has already received support from over 160 companies that have vowed to stop advertising over social media for July.

Some of the world's biggest ad buyers, including Unilever, Coca Cola and PepsiCo, have all followed calls from campaigners to suspend social media advertising.

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In June, the "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign was started by U.S. civil rights groups after the death of George Floyd.

The chain issued an apology, made clear that its policy going forward would not allow a repeat of the Philadelphia incident, and closed its more than 8,000 company-operated U.S. stores to allow employees to receive racial-diversity training. Although it stated it was not officially joining the campaign, it announced it would pull its global advertising across Facebook for at least 30 days, on Friday afternoon, June 28.

According to Reuters, Stop Hate for Profit is demanding measures including a special moderation process, a halt in ad revenue generation from racist or hateful content, and more transparency from the company on the number of hate speech incidents it deals with. The liquor giant spent $94.9 million on Facebook advertising in the USA alone in 2019, according to estimates by analytics platform Pathmatics. They include calls to "stop recommending or otherwise amplifying groups or content from groups associated with hate, misinformation or conspiracies to users" and to "find and remove public and private groups focused on white supremacy, militia, antisemitism, violent conspiracies, Holocaust denialism, vaccine misinformation and climate denialism". Jessica Gonzalez, co-chief executive of Free Press, said she has contacted major US telecommunications and media companies to ask them to join the campaign.

Honda cited the boycott campaign on Twitter on June 26 with the hashtag, #StopHateForProfit, saying, "We choose to stand with people united against hate and racism". The backpack and apparel brand says it will stop advertising on Facebook and Instagram for the month of July, standing with the NAACP and ADL.

An advertising boycott against Facebook is gaining momentum, with global brands such as Starbucks and Diageo joining the growing throng of businesses pulling marketing dollars in order to put pressure on the social network to tackle hate speech. Facebook was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Business Insider. "It is very visible who is and isn't participating in the boycott where brand silence [equals] being complicit".

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