Coca-Cola, Honda, Hershey's chocolate and Unilever, the world's largest advertiser, all said on Friday they would freeze or cut United States spending on Facebook and sister service Instagram, wiping an estimated $56bn from the social media giant's value.
Unilever on Friday joined a list of companies, including Ben & Jerry's, Verizon Communications and The North Face, protesting against social media as part of the "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign started by USA civil rights groups to force action against hate speech in a bid to do something "in the areas of divisiveness and hate speech during this polarized election period in the U.S".
Late on Friday, Coca-Cola said it would suspend ads on Facebook for at least 30 days as it reassesses its policies.
"Overall, the policies we're implementing today are created to address the reality of the challenges our country is facing and how they're showing up across our community", Zuckerberg said in a post. Brands like Unilever and Ben & Jerry's had also said they would pull back from advertising on Facebook.More news: UK could lockdown city of Leicester over virus fears
"We have been down this road before with Facebook".
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.
Facebook acknowledged the growing pressure on a call with advertisers on last week, where a Facebook executive admitted there is a "trust deficit" with its clients on the platform. It added that it identifies almost 90 percent of hate speech before users report it on Facebook. Zuckerberg noted that artificial-intelligence systems and human review teams now remove 90% of identified hate speech before anyone reports it to Facebook.
Facebook, the largest social media platform in the world, owns Instagram. "Specifically, we're expanding our 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. We're also expanding our policies to better protect immigrants, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from ads suggesting these groups are inferior or expressing contempt, dismissal or disgust directed at them". A post that violates Facebook's rules but is from an important political figure, such as President Trump, will get a label saying it was deemed "newsworthy" enough to remain.More news: Jennifer Hudson is Aretha Franklin in new trailer for 'Respect' biopic
He explained that he stands against hate or anything that incites violence or suppresses voting and that Facebook is committed to removing that no matter where it comes from. "Even if a politician or government official says it, if we determine that content may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote, we will take that content down".
Facebook is also banning posts that make false claims meant to discourage voting, such as false claims about ICE agents checking for immigration papers at polling places.
The most recent entities to pause their ad spend are Coca-Cola and Starbucks, with Coca-Cola's global boycott kicking off from 1 July and continuing for the entire month.More news: IPhone 12 to Come Without Power Adapter, EarPods in Box: Kuo