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Major Advertisers Have Announced A Boycott Of Facebook

Major Advertisers Have Announced A Boycott Of Facebook

Major companies have begun to refuse to place ads on Facebook due to dissatisfaction with the way the social network administrators are fighting hate speech. On June 26, Unilever, one of the world's largest suppliers of consumer goods, announced this decision, The Wall Street Journal writes.

Before that, Verizon Communications announced a boycott of Facebook. Later, other major advertisers, including Coca-Cola, Diageo, and Starbucks, decided to stop advertising on the social network.

Unilever also declined to advertise on Twitter and Instagram until at least the end of the year, explaining that "given the current polarization and upcoming us elections, it is necessary to strengthen measures to control hate messages."

The company, which is one of the largest advertisers in the world, plans to redirect the money saved on advertising in social networks to advertising in the media. According to Pathmatics Inc., Unilever spent $42.3 million on Facebook ads last year.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media advertising expenses were waived by Coca-Cola for 30 days, starting on July 1.

"There is no place for racism in the world, and there is no place for racism in social networks," said Coca - Cola CEO James Quincy.

The boycott of Facebook ads began on a call from human rights organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP, to waive ad spending on the social network in July. Human rights activists believe that Facebook has not made enough progress in the fight against hostile speech and misinformation.

The social network held the position that political statements, including comments by US President Donald Trump, should not be checked for factual errors and removed from the platform. According to its management, readers have the right to receive all messages from political leaders, without filtering them.

On June 26, Facebook founder and major shareholder Mark Zuckerberg said that the social network will start flagging political publications that violate its rules, and will take other measures to combat voter pressure and insult minorities. The company stressed that this decision was made not under pressure from business, but in connection with the preparation for the US presidential election. Artificial intelligence can detect about 90% of those who violate the rules of publication before users report it, Facebook noted.

Facebook shares fell 8.3% last Friday. The value of Mark Zuckerberg's stake has fallen by $7.2 billion, Bloomberg notes. The head of Facebook has fallen to fourth place in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, losing third place to the French billionaire Bernard Arnault, who controls the world's largest luxury goods manufacturer LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Advertising revenue in 2019 accounted for 99% of the company's revenue, which amounted to $70.7 billion, The Daily Telegraph recalls, but suggests that the social network is unlikely to suffer from a boycott: ads in it are sold at automatic auctions so that the departed advertisers will be replaced by others.

After investigating reports of Russian interference in domestic politics in the United States, including by placing political ads on social networks for a targeted audience, Facebook promised to publish information about the customers of such ads.