Digital Smarts - Groups Urge Facebook Advertisers to Boycott Platform Over Hate Speech

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Civil Rights Groups including The Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, Common Sense Media, Free Press, the NAACP and Sleeping Giants, are launching a social media campaign, #StopHateForProfit, to urge large Facebook advertisers to boycott the platform unless it makes formal moves to curtail the proliferation of hate speech on its platform. The group is also requesting Facebook to take steps such as removing ads labeled as misinformation or hateful, and informing advertisers when their media buys appear near harmful content and grant refunds. The list of those companies taking part is growing by the day, although critics have questioned the effectiveness, pointing out these companies are not taking down their pages and will most likely buy more ads on Facebook after July.

These actions are one example of recent backlash against Facebook, which seemed to intensify when a flurry of misinformation appeared on the social platform amid worldwide protests against racism and police brutality. The company declined to take action against posts from President Trump — despite Twitter flagging that same content as misleading or glorifying violence. Facebook did remove ads from Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign that featured a symbol used by the Nazis during World War II. The company also announced that it would gradually allow users to opt out of seeing political ads, and has acknowledged in a blog post that its enforcement of content rules “isn’t perfect.”