Verizon withdraws Facebook ads for hate speech inaction | Facebook

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

The company said Thursday that it will join other companies, including Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia and REI, to suspend advertising on Facebook-owned platforms until the company “can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable.”

“We have strict content policies and we have zero tolerance for violations, we take action,” Verizon media director John Nitti said in a statement. “We are pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us feel comfortable and is consistent with what we have done with YouTube and other partners.”

Facebook acknowledged mounting pressure on a call with advertisers on Wednesday, where a Facebook executive admitted that there is a “confidence deficit” with its clients on the platform.

The “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign was launched on Wednesday by advocacy groups including the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP and Color Of Change. Call on advertisers to pressure the tech giant to adopt stricter policies against racist and hateful content on their platforms by pausing all advertising spending with the company during the month of July.

As part of the campaign, the groups alerted Verizon that one of their Facebook ads had appeared alongside a video from the QAnon conspiracy group based on hateful and anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Facebook earns $ 70 billion in annual advertising revenue as it “amplifies messages from white supremacists” and “allows incitement to violence,” according to the campaign.

Advocacy groups argue that Facebook has not addressed disinformation and hate speech by making Breitbart News a “trusted news source” despite its history of working with white and neo-Nazi nationalists, allegedly allowing housing discrimination against communities of color and not eliminating the Holocaust denial of posts.

Pressure on Facebook to moderate hate speech has accelerated in recent weeks as the platform declined to point out false and incendiary statements by Donald Trump, despite moves by rival platform Twitter to do so.

A recent study by the Anti-Defamation League found that the vast majority (77%) of online bullying experienced by respondents took place on Facebook.

“There is more progress to be made, but we continue to make significant investments in technology and processes to help us eliminate hate, bullying and intimidation from Facebook,” a company spokesperson said in response to the study.

In response to advertiser boycotts, Carolyn Everson, vice president of Facebook’s global business group, said in a statement: “We deeply respect the decision of any brand, and remain focused on the important work of eliminating hate speech and providing information. voting criticism. “