Starbucks pauses social media ads as it targets 'hate speech'

Others pulling advertising from Facebook include Coca-Cola Co., Verizon Communications Inc., Honda Motors, Hershey Co., Arc'teryx, The North Face, Patagonia, Eddie Bauer, JanSport, Levi Strauss, Starbucks, Ben & Jerry's, and REI, among many others.

The "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign will begin calling on major companies in Europe to join the boycott, Jim Steyer, chief executive of Common Sense Media, said in an interview with Reuters on Saturday. Even if a politician or government official says it, if Facebook determines that content may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote, Zuckerberg said it will take that content down. Unilever, for example, changed the name of a skin-lightening product popular in India called Fair and Lovely. Jessica Gonzalez, co-chief executive of Free Press, said she has contacted major United States telecommunications and media companies to ask them to join the campaign. Facebook said its investments in artificial intelligence have allowed it to find 90% of hate speech before users report it.

For Facebook, which also owns Instagram, advertising is the single most important source of money, bringing in nearly all revenue - or close to $70 billion - past year.

A statement on the campaign's website requested businesses to temporarily pause advertising on Facebook and Instagram in order to force CEO Mark Zuckerberg to address the effect that Facebook has had on the society. The liquor giant spent $94.9 million on Facebook advertising in the US alone in 2019, according to estimates by analytics platform Pathmatics.

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

Starbucks said Sunday that it will pause its advertising on social media while it studies ways to "stop the spread of hate speech" as part of a growing corporate movement.

Facebook promised to apply their hate policy to ads - but not do anything about hate more broadly in groups and posts where it is a far more significant and systemic issue.

Still, when the company's stock fell 8.3% on Friday on the news that Unilever was suspending its advertising on its platforms (and rival platform Twitter), Facebook's market value lost an estimated $56 billlion - and Zuckerberg's personal net worth dropped by about $7.2 billion (though he still had $82.3 billion to fall back on, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index).

He said: "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".

"As a brewer, we talk a lot about the Canadian values that define us: boldness, independence, strength of character, but also openness, inclusivity and warmth", Trevor Grant, Moosehead's vice president of marketing and sales, said in a statement. "We need comprehensive policy". Now 160 companies have joined in the boycott, some fully with complete advertising stops worldwide, other with temporary USA-only advertising boycotts via Facebook. Many of the U.S. based companies who have joined the list haven't stopped advertising they have just switched to other provides of online advertising.

A long list of companies have pulled advertising from Facebook Inc in support of a campaign that called out the social media giant for not doing enough to stop hate speech on its platforms.