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Facebook to tag 'harmful' posts as boycott grows

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Facebook announces new hate speech and misinformation policies amid advertiser revolt

Ultimately, it's another example of Facebook's insistence that with hate speech and other types of rhetoric and propaganda, the onus of responsibility is on the user.

Certainly not coincidentally, if you've been following the free speech/fake news/don't-anger-Donald-Trump-too-much dance that Facebook has doing the past four years, Zuckerberg's big reversal on this arrives just as the company's stock sank 7 percent on the news that Unilever had joined a widening boycott of his increasingly toxic company by advertisers.

The Stop Hate for Profit campaign was started by several U.S. civil rights groups after the death of African-American George Floyd in police custody triggered widespread protests against racial discrimination in the United States.

Facebook will prohibit more hate speech in ads, including political ads, such as claims that people from a specific group - be it race, immigration status or sexual orientation - are a threat.

Facebook in particular has faced harsh criticism in recent weeks for its decision to leave up posts from the president that many advocates said clearly incited violence. "I disagree strongly with how the president spoke about this, but I believe people should be able to see this for themselves, because ultimately accountability for those in positions of power can only happen when their speech is scrutinized out in the open", Zuckerberg said at the time.

Zuckerberg said during his livestream Friday that there will be no exceptions for content that glorifies violence or is meant to suppress voting, adding, "We're going to take that content down, no matter who says it". Unlike Coca-Cola, it accused the social media firm of not going far enough. He also said the company will "better protect" migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from ads that are generally bigoted against them.

Verizon is one of the largest advertisers to pull its Facebook ads as part of an effort by civil rights organisations to pressure the social media company to take action on hate speech and misleading content.

Numerous participants are small businesses that make up the majority of eight million advertisers on Facebook.

"Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society", the company said in today's announcement. Global products giant Unilever, which reported spending $9 billion on ads and marketing previous year, Friday announced it would pull ads from Facebook because of the content on the platform.

Unilever said in a statement that it was ceasing brand advertising for the remainder of the year on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

A week ago, a group of organizations launched a campaign called Stop Hate for Profit, asking advertisers to pause their spending on Facebook and Instagram ads for the month of July 2020.

Other measures outlined by the Facebook chief related to the upcoming USA election.

"We've developed insurance policies and platform capabilities created to guard and serve the general public dialog, and as at all times, are dedicated to amplifying voices from under-represented communities and marginalized teams", mentioned Sarah Personette, vp for Twitter's International Consumer Options.

"We are respectful of our partners' choices and will proceed to get the job done and connect intently with them throughout this time", Personette said. They have made apologies in the past.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Unilever's decision, which was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.

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