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Unilever joins Facebook boycott over hate speech Issues

Anglo-Dutch customer firm Unilever said on Friday it would stop advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from the US before the close of the calendar year, citing concerns of hate speech in the run-up to the presidential elections.

The conclusion comes as dozens of businesses join a boycott of their social networking giant.

Telecoms group Verizon, sports manufacturers Patagonia, North Face and REI, in addition to the freelance staffing bureau Upwork, also have said they’d pause advertisements on Facebook.

“We’ve decided to stop advertising on @Facebook, @Instagram & @Twitter at the united states,” Unilever stated in a post on Twitter.

“The polarized atmosphere puts a heightened duty on manufacturers to construct a trusted & secure electronic ecosystem.

A Unilever spokeswoman told AFP that the firm had committed to participate with online businesses” but there’s far more to be achieved, particularly in the regions of divisiveness and hate address during that polarized election period at the U.S.”

Unilever, whose brands include Ben and Jerry’s and Marmite, is a significant advertiser on social websites in America.

Facebook said on Friday it was taking action against hate speech, including that it had banned 250 white supremacist bands and stated more work still had to be carried out.

“We spend billions of dollars annually to keep our neighborhood safe and always work with external experts to examine and upgrade our policies,” Facebook stated in a statement.

“We all know we’ve got more work to do, and we are going to keep working together with civil rights groups.”

How did the boycott begin?

Facebook has come under fire because of its hands-off strategy to misinformation and inflammatory articles, especially after it didn’t get rid of a post by US President Donald Trump, who stated”if the looting begins, the shooting begins”, about the protests following George Floyd’s departure in May.

Twitter did, but take down this article.

In reaction, activist groups and the Anti-Defamation League established a boycott of Facebook a week below the hashtag #StopHateForProfit, which advocated companies to halt advertisements during July.