Facebook and Twitter hate speech: stocks tank after Unilever stops ads
Multinational consumer goods company Unilever said it will halt U.S. advertising on Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. for at least the remainder of the year, citing hate speech and divisive content on the platforms. Unilever is a British-Dutch multinational consumer goods company, headquartered in London, England.
Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society. We will be monitoring ongoing and will revisit our current position if necessary.
the consumer group said
The consumer goods company, which owns brands like Dove Soap and Lipton tea, joins a growing advertising boycott against Facebook as part of the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign started by U.S. civil rights groups after the death of George Floyd. The effort called on Facebook, which owns Instagram, to do more to stop hate speech and misinformation.
A consortium of civil rights and other advocacy groups, including Color of Change and the Anti-Defamation League, has called on advertisers to stop spending on the platforms for the month of July in protest of Facebook’s policies around hate speech and misinformation. Unilever’s move extends that through 2020 and adds rival social network Twitter, which has also struggled to deal with offensive posts but has recently taken a more active stance than Facebook in some cases.
This decision has hit the companies’ market shares tremendously with Shares of Facebook Inc, -7.12%, and Twitter Inc, -7.63% sank in midday trading Friday. Other brands, including outdoor gear company Patagonia, Verizon Communications Inc., and Ben & Jerry’s — a Unilever subsidiary — have also pledged to boycott ads on Facebook and Instagram.
We have developed policies and platform capabilities designed to protect and serve the public conversation, and as always, are committed to amplifying voices from under-represented communities and marginalized groups. We are respectful of our partners’ decisions and will continue to work and communicate closely with them during this time.
said Sarah Personette, vice president for Twitter’s Global Client Solutions.
Facebook has taken some steps in recent years to better police its platforms, adding workers, and developing new technology. That has resulted in the removal of hate speech and other objectionable content.
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