Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will ban hate speech in its advertisements. The company will modify its policies on prohibiting such content.
Facebook’s new policies show that it will prohibit ads that claim individuals from a specific race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, caste or immigration origin can bring risks to the health or physical safety of anyone else, Zuckerberg said.
“I am committed to making sure Facebook remains a place where people can use their voice to discuss important issues,” Zuckerberg said.
“But I also stand against hate or anything that incites violence or suppresses voting, and we’re committed to removing that content too, no matter where it comes from,” he noted.
Moreover, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will make more efforts to ensure the protection of immigrants, refugees, migrants, and asylum-seekers from ads that emphasize their inferiority to other groups of people or from ads that promote dismissal, contempt, or disgust targeted at them.
His remarks come after nearly 100 brands confirmed that they would remove their advertising from Facebook for the month of July or longer as part of a campaign called #StopHateForProfit. This movement protests “Facebook’s repeated failure to meaningfully address the vast proliferation of hate on its platforms.” However, Zuckerberg did not give any statements about the boycotts on Friday.
Big spenders like Unilever and Verizon, along with smaller companies like Patagonia, REI, Lending Club and The North Face are among the boycotting advertisers, according to a running list from Sleeping Giants.
The #StopHateForProfit movement is also joined by organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, the NAACP, Free Press, Sleeping Giants, and Common Sense.
Moreover, Zuckerberg said that Facebook will now tag content that it decides to leave up because it is considered newsworthy and valuable to the public interest, even if it otherwise does not adhere to the company’s policies.
Facebook users who share that content will get a prompt warning them that the content they are sharing may not meet the company’s policies. Twitter has had a similar policy of leaving up tweets it regards as newsworthy, especially those from public leaders. Those tweets are tagged accordingly.
“Often, seeing speech from politicians is in the public interest, and in the same way that news outlets will report what a politician says, we think people should generally be able to see it for themselves on our platforms,” Zuckerberg said in a post.
The policy of labeling ads attracted heavy criticism by its own employees for disregarding or moderating a post from President Trump in late May. Trump’s content says “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” in regards to Black Lives Matter protesters.
Some Facebook employees stated that the post violates Facebook’s community standards, which prohibits content that incites violence.
On the other hand, Twitter put a label warning for users about the president’s violent content, which they must dismiss before they can view the tweet. Twitter is also not allowing users from liking or retweeting the tweet.