Unilever Yanks Ads From Facebook, Twitter Due to Hate Speech

Unilever joins Verizon, Patagonia, VF, North Face, Eddie Bauer and REI in boycotting Facebook/Instagram.
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Consumer-product titan Unilever  (UL) - Get Report said it’s suspending advertising on Facebook  (FB) - Get Report, including Instagram, and Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Report at least through year-end  because of the hate speech present on the social media platforms.

Facebook shares recently traded at $216.77, down 8%, and Twitter at $29, down 7.6%.

“Based on the current polarization and the election that we are having in the U.S., there needs to be much more enforcement in the area of hate speech,” Luis Di Como, Unilever’s executive vice president of global media, told The Wall Street Journal. 

In a statement, the British-Dutch company said that “continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society,”

Unilever joins a host of companies abandoning their Facebook advertising in response to hateful commentary on the platform.

That includes including Verizon  (VZ) - Get Report, Patagonia, VF  (VFC) - Get Report, North Face, Eddie Bauer and REI.

Civil-rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and NAACP, have urged companies to yank their ad spending from Facebook for July. 

They say Facebook officials haven’t gone far enough to eradicate hate speech and misinformation on its platform.

As for Verizon, it’s withholding ads from Facebook-owned platforms until the company “can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable,” the company said

“We have strict content policies in place and have zero-tolerance when they are breached, we take action,” John Nitti, Verizon's chief media officer, said in a statement. 

“We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with what we’ve done with YouTube and other partners.”