By Eamonn Burke
The social media platform Facebook is making policy changes after Unilever has removed ads from the site, as well as Twitter. They join a group of corporations such as Honda, Verizon, Ford, Clorox, and Denny’s, who have come together to boycott the site, as called for by the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League as a way to pressure tech conglomerates to make change. Some companies are pulling ads indefinitely, and some have pledged to pull them for the month of July.
These new policies involve designating posts that are in violation of existing policies but still “newsworthy”. Twitter has already adopted this method, allowing them to label some of President Trump’s tweets as violations. Facebook claims that it allocates a large budget to keeping content safe and removing hate speech using AI that is 90% effective, and also that the company never makes policy changes based on money. However, a group called Stop Hate For Profit, who called for the boycott, want to see more change:
“We have been down this road before with Facebook. They have made apologies in the past. They have taken meager steps after each catastrophe where their platform played a part. But this has to end now.”
Unilever supplied upwards of $42 million dollars of revenue for Facebook in 2019, so it is no doubt that their absence will be damaging. Facebook is also a huge source of profit for the companies themselves, so it is an impactful decision to stopping putting ads on the site. Shares of Facebook and Twitter have already gone down more than 7% as of Friday. Other massive companies like Procter and Gamble have pledged to do the same in the face of discriminatory content.