Clorox joined the list of big companies plucking their advertisement funds from Facebook as a protest due to the platform’s failure to control the propagation of hate speech on Facebook.
The sanitation goods company declared that it would cease all of its advertisement initiatives on Facebook by the end of the year, following the likes of Adidas, Best Buy, Denny’s, Ford, and Pepsi, all of which declared similar boycotts in the previous weeks.
“As a people-centered company committed to our values. We feel compelled to take action against hate speech, which we believe will increase through the balance of the year,” Clorox announced. “This creates an increasingly unhealthy environment for people and our purpose-driven brands.”
The Clorox Company, which includes brands like Brita and Hidden Valley, added that it would “Maintain our planned level of advertising spending but shift to other media.”
Ford also pulled out from all nationwide social-media advertisement for 30 days, as the company assessed its financial allocation on sites. And the restaurant chain Denny’s stated it had paused paid advertising on Facebook as well.
As part of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, more than a hundred companies had paused their product advertisements on Facebook.
Civil rights groups arranged the boycott like the Sleeping Giants, Anti-Defamation League, and NAACP. They emphasized that Facebook didn’t meet the standards to control hate speech and racism on the platform.
Facebook racks up around $70 billion annually from their advertisements, according to the civil rights groups. However, the surprising amount of boycotting of big companies reduced Facebook’s market value by $60 billion.
Coca-Cola also paused its advertisements from Facebook the same day, claiming that the company wasn’t joining the boycott, but that it had abstained from paid advertising across social media platforms globally for at least 30 days.
“We will take this time to reassess our advertising policies to determine whether revisions are needed. We also expect greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners,” according to the CEO and chairman of Coca-Cola, James Quincey.
The enormous reduction of Facebook’s market value slashed through Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune, pulling him down from 3rd to 4th place on Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with his latest net worth of $82.3 billion.
Unilever also joined in pausing paid advertisements, followed by Starbucks. The companies stated that they cooperated with the civil rights groups to “stop the spread of hate speech.”
In reaction to the alarming boycott on the social media platform, Facebook’s spokeswoman stated that the company invests billions of dollars annually to guarantee the safety and coordinate with external specialists to update and review its policies.
“Facebook had banned 250 white supremacist organizations from Instagram and Facebook,” she stated, adding that the company’s substantial investment artificial intelligence technology enables Facebook to identify 90% of the hate speech before users report it.
“We know we have more work to do, and we’ll continue to work with civil rights groups, GARM, and other experts to develop even more tools, technology, and policies to continue this fight,” according to Facebook’s spokeswoman.
Zuckerberg also responded to the boycott in a Facebook Live video Friday, where he stated that the company would start labeling ‘harmful’ content from politicians that remains “newsworthy.”
Though he did not name Trump, the policy comes in response to a campaign demanding Facebook impose stringent restrictions on “misinformation” in the president’s campaign ads, and on his inflammatory posts.
Twitter has already placed warning labels on some of the president’s tweets that are considered threatening or abusive, and unlike Facebook, Twitter banned all political campaign ads.
Zuckerberg slammed the move when Twitter first labeled a Trump tweet, saying it wasn’t up to social media companies to be the “arbiters of truth.”