Home sci-tech EXCLUSIVE-Campaign to boycott advertising on Facebook will be global, say…

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EXCLUSIVE-Campaign to boycott advertising on Facebook will be global, say…

by ace
EXCLUSIVE-Campaign to boycott advertising on Facebook will be global, say...

By Sheila Dang

(Reuters) – Organizers of a Facebook ad boycott campaign that has been gaining support from a growing number of large companies are now preparing to expand the action globally to increase pressure on the social media company to remove hate speech.

The “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign will begin asking Europe’s big companies to join the boycott, said Jim Steyer, chief executive of Common Sense Media, in an interview with Reuters on Saturday. Since the campaign was launched this month, more than 160 companies, including Verizon and Unilever, have made a commitment to stop buying ads on the world’s largest social media platform in July.

Free Press and Common Sense, along with U.S. civil rights groups Color of Change and the Anti-Defamation League, launched the campaign after the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who was murdered by Minneapolis police.

“The next frontier is global pressure,” Steyer said, adding that the campaign hopes to encourage Europe’s regulators to take a tougher stance on Facebook. The European Commission announced in June new guidelines for technology companies, including Facebook, to submit monthly reports on how they are dealing with the flow of misinformation about coronavirus.

The global campaign will continue as organizers continue to call for more U.S. companies to participate. Jessica Gonzalez, co-executive director of Free Press, said she contacted major U.S. telecommunications and media companies to ask them to participate in the campaign.

Responding to demands for more action, Facebook acknowledged Sunday that it has a lot to do and is joining civil rights groups and experts to develop more tools to combat hate speech. Facebook said its investments in artificial intelligence already allow it to find 90% of hate speech before users report it.

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