Home » today » Business » ROUNDUP 2 / Boycott expands: Unilever and Honda stop Facebook advertising | 06/26/20

ROUNDUP 2 / Boycott expands: Unilever and Honda stop Facebook advertising | 06/26/20

(New: Honda joins ad boycott)

LONDON / NEW YORK (dpa-AFX) – Facebook is under increasing pressure due to its controversial handling of racist, inflammatory and manipulative content. The consumer goods giant Unilever and the carmaker Honda (Honda Motor) announced on Friday that they will no longer advertise in the US on the online network and its subsidiary Instagram. This means that a boycott campaign against the platform that started in the previous week is receiving significant influx.

Honda announced that it would no longer place ads on Facebook and Instagram in July to send a signal against “hate and racism”. Unilever even wants to forego paid advertising for the rest of the year – not just on Facebook but also on Twitter. The short message service, on the US President Donald Trump has been fond of publishing his frequently controversial messages and has also been criticized for some time.

Unilever justified the decision with the responsibility of the company in dealing with controversial contributions on the net – especially in view of the tense political atmosphere in the USA. Facebook and Twitter would have to do more, especially when it comes to hate comments and disparate posts during the US election campaign. The Dutch-British group does not want to cut its US advertising budget, but only redistribute it to other companies.

Facebook said in a statement that it would invest billions of dollars annually in the security of its community. The group works continuously with external experts to review and update its guidelines. Thanks to this commitment, almost 90 percent of the hate comments were found before users drew their attention. “We know we have more to do,” said a company spokesman. Facebook will therefore develop further instruments, technologies and guidelines.

Facebook-Chef Mark Zuckerberg In a live stream, he also announced that his company would take more action against hate news and erase hoaxes ahead of the November US presidential election. In addition, standards for advertising would be raised to block derogatory and hateful messages about ethnicity, religion or sexual preferences. “I stand against hatred and everything that incites violence,” said Zuckerberg.

US civil rights organizations had called on companies to boycott Facebook last week. This is how the group is to be hit at a sensitive point – Facebook generates almost all of its sales with advertising revenue. The US wave of protests against racism and police violence has again flared up criticism of Facebook for carelessly handling controversial posts. Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg also made a significant contribution to this, refusing to take action against controversial statements by US President Donald Trump. There was even criticism from our own employees.

Previously, several other companies, including the US mobile communications giant Verizon and the well-known outdoor brands The North Face and Patagonia, had joined the #StopHateForProfit initiative. Unilever – whose ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s was also there – is now going one step further – because the campaign was initially only about an advertising boycott in July. After the announcement by the consumer goods company, Facebook and Twitter came under strong pressure on the stock exchange./hbr/mis

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