Starbucks Suspends Advertising Across Social Media to Help Curb Hate Speech

Facebook shares sink as Unilever, Coca-Cola pull ads

Starbucks announced Sunday it will suspend all of its advertising across social media platforms as it conducts discussions "internally, with our media partners, and with civil rights organisations" about ending the spread of hate speech. The Seattle-based chain issued its announcement on June 28.

Over the weekend, Zuckerberg responded to mounting criticism, explaining in a Facebook post that the company is expanding its ads policy to prohibit claims that people from a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status are a threat to the physical safety, health or survival of others.

"But, together, we finally got Facebook's attention".

During the Q&A with employees, Mr Zuckerberg went a step further. The clothier has a history of inserting itself into the political arena.

"There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media", Mr James Quincey, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, said in a brief statement. Chief financial officer Dave Wehner said in an April earnings call that he saw the "potential for an even more severe advertising industry contraction". Britvic Plc, which supplies a wide range of soft drinks, said it will pause advertising on Facebook and Instagram for July.

Diageo is estimated to have spent $22.9 million on Facebook in the USA past year.

Advertiser boycotts in July could cost Facebook more than $250 million in the third quarter if 25% of its top 100 buyers pause spending, and as much as $500 million if 50% of the top advertisers stop, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jitendra Waral.Zuckerberg announced changes Friday created to appease critics, but the Anti-Defamation League, one of the groups calling for the boycott, called the amendments "small". 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.

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Analysts also note that Facebook Inc.

However Finnish firms joining the boycott have not been vocal about their actions.

Mr Zuckerberg attempted to address advertiser concerns in a live question-and-answer session with employees on Friday, announcing a handful of minor changes to the company's ad and content policies. "Facebook mishandles users' data, lacks privacy in its apps, and has taken an outrageous stand avoiding the necessary steps to protect the public from violent and unsafe rhetoric", writes Agaoua.

Champions of the #StopHateForProfit boycott - led by civil rights and advocacy groups including the Anti-Defamation League and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People - say Facebook has not done enough to keep racist, false and unsafe content or white supremacists off its platform.

More than 160 companies, including Verizon Communications and Unilever Plc, signed on to stop buying ads on Facebook Inc, the world's largest social media platform. Both are suspending ads in the US on Facebook and Instagram only.

"We will take this time to reassess our advertising policies to determine whether revisions are needed".

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.

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