Starbucks pauses all social media advertising over hate speech concerns

People walk past Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park California

People walk past Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park California

Additionally, Starbucks confirmed to TIME that it would not be signing up for the #StopHateForProfit campaign and pledged its support to have conversations internally and with social media platforms about what parameters should look like regarding hate speech.

Civil rights organisations like the NAACP, Colour of Change, and Anti-Defamation League have called on major companies to suspend their advertising on Facebook following the May 25 police killing of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis and ensuing nationwide protests over police brutality. Unilever, for example, changed the name of a skin-lightening product popular in India called Fair and Lovely. "We will continue to discuss with media partners how they will deal with unacceptable content", the spokesperson added. Though Facebook was the initial focus of the boycott, Starbucks' latest move shows the controversy is spreading to other platforms.

The global campaign will proceed as organizers continue to urge more U.S. companies to participate. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has long said it is not appropriate for the company to regulate speech on its platform and has attempted to dodge accusations of political bias from both sides of the aisle.

Expanding the campaign outside the United States will take a bigger slice off of Facebook's advertising revenue but is not likely have major financial impact. That only accounts for about 10% of its overall estimated $250 million it spends on Facebook advertising annually, according to Richard Greenfield of LightShed Partners, a media and tech research firm.

Steyer said they will urge global advertisers such as Unilever and Honda, which have only committed to pausing United States ads, to pull their Facebook ads globally.

"We anticipate that most of the advertisers will return to Facebook given its more than 2.6 billion users".

But the publicity around its hate speech policies have hurt its perception and stock.

"Shares of Facebook fell 8.3% on Friday after Unilever and other brands boycotted ads on the social network", a report says.

Facebook's market value has since fallen by $56 billion, while Zuckerberg's net worth is now down to $82.3 billion, moving him from the third richest person in the world - behind Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates - to fourth.

On Friday, Zuckerberg said Facebook would now label all voting-related posts and expanded its definition of prohibited hate speech, adding a clause saying no advertising would be accepted if it attacks another demographic, labeling such content as "dangerous".

"If they think they are done based on Friday, they are sorely mistaken", Gonzalez said. Many of the United States of America based companies who have joined the list haven't stopped advertising they have just switched to other provides of online advertising. It asks advertisers to pressure the tech giant to adopt stricter policies against racist and hateful content on its platforms by pausing all spending on advertising with the company for the month of July.

Coca-Cola, Verizon Communications and the Hershey candy company also announced they stopped advertising on social media in the wake of criticism that Facebook has not done enough to combat the vast amounts of hate speech and fake news that is spread on its platform.

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