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Verizon to stop hate speech suspends advertising on Facebook

Verizon Communications Inc announced on Thursday it was pausing advertising on Facebook Inc starting from July. This decision comes in support of a campaign that called out the social media giant for not doing enough to stop hate speech on its platforms.

Verizon is the biggest yet to join the advertising boycott, which has gained the backing of dozens of U.S. companies, and its announcement was a blow to Facebook’s efforts to contain the growing revolt that is really getting out of hand.

“We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable,” a Verizon representative explained the media.

Verizon stopped advertising on Facebook in support of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign. Image credit REUTERS

U.S. civil rights groups are urging brands to support the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which protests the world’s biggest social network’s lax approach to hate speech, harassment and misinformation.

Exclusively, the Anti-Defamation League denounced through a letter to advertisers on Thursday that the company had found a Verizon advertisement on Facebook appearing next to a video containing anti-Semitic rhetoric from conspiracy group QAnon.

“Advertisements are running alongside divisive, hateful and conspiratorial content - not something that most companies want,” the ADL said, pointing out the dissatisfaction and the inadmissible action played by the media giant.

The survey’s findings suggest the boycott against Facebook and other platforms has the potential to extend to the majority of blue-chip advertisers. Image credit PA

Unfortunately for FB, Ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s and outdoor gear companies Patagonia and The North Face earlier said they would suspend Facebook ads.

Facebook tried to respond to the accusations saying it is working with civil rights organizations.

“We respect any brand’s decision and remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information,” said Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president of global business.

The company intensified outreach to advertisers this week as it worked to contain the damage, without pledging any specific changes, recipients of those messages already published.

One of Facebook’s top spenders, consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble Co, on Wednesday pledged to conduct a review of ad platforms and stop spending where it found hateful content. P&G declined to admit whether it had decided on Facebook.


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