Facebook ad boycott campaign to go global

The “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign calling on advertisers to stop buying ads on Facebook in the month of July will begin calling on major companies in Europe to join the boycott.

Since the campaign launched earlier this month, more than 160 companies, including Verizon Communications and Unilever have signed on to stop buying ads on the world’s largest social media platform for the month of July.

The Anti-Defamation League, along with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Color of Change, Sleeping Giants, Free Press and Common Sense, launched the campaign following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man killed by Minneapolis police.

The campaign hopes to embolden regulators in Europe to take a harder stance on Facebook. The European Commission in June announced new guidelines for tech companies including Facebook to submit monthly reports on how they are handling coronavirus misinformation.

The outrage in the United States over the death of Floyd has led to an unprecedented reaction from corporations around the world. Its impact has been felt beyond U.S. borders. Unilever, for example, changed the name of a skin-lightening product popular in India called Fair and Lovely. The global campaign will proceed as organisers continue to urge more U.S. companies to participate.

Responding to demands for more action, Facebook on Sunday acknowledged it has more work to do and is teaming up with civil rights groups and experts to develop more tools to fight hate speech. Facebook said its investments in artificial intelligence have allowed it to find 90% of hate speech before users report it.

Facebook generates $70 billion in advertising sales very year. But the publicity around its hate speech policies has hurt its perception and stock. The company’s 8.3% fall in stock price on June 27th wiped out $56 billion in market capitalization.

Stop Hate for Profit has outlined a set of demands, which include a separate moderation process to help users who are targeted by race and other identifiers, more transparency on how many incidents of hate speech are reported and to stop generating ad revenue from harmful content.

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