Starbucks has announced it will suspend advertising on some social media
platforms in response to hate speech.
The coffee giant joins global brands including Coca-Cola, Diageo and
Unilever which have recently removed advertising from social platforms.
A Starbucks spokesperson told the BBC the social media "pause" would not
include YouTube, owned by Google.
"We believe in bringing communities together, both in person and online,"
Starbucks said in a statement.
The brand said it would "have discussions internally and with media
partners and civil rights organizations to stop the spread of hate
speech". But it will continue to post on social media without paid
promotion, it said.
The announcement came after Coca-Cola called for "greater accountability"
from social media firms.
Coca Cola said it would pause advertising on all social media platforms
globally, while Unilever, owner of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, said it would
halt Twitter, Facebook and Instagram advertising in the US "at least"
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The announcements follow controversy over Facebook's approach to
moderating content on its platform - seen by many as too hands off. It
came after Facebook said on Friday it would begin to label potentially
harmful or misleading posts which have been left up for their news value.
Founder Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook would also ban advertising
containing claims "that people of a specific race, ethnicity, national
origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity
or immigration status" are a threat to others.
The organisers of the #StopHateforProfit campaign, which has accused
Facebook of not doing enough to stop hate speech and disinformation, said
the "small number of small changes" would not "make a dent in the
Starbucks said that while it was suspending advertising on some social
platforms, it would not join the #StopHateForProfit campaign. More than
150 companies have paused advertising in support of #StopHateforProfit.
Coca-Cola also told CNBC its advertising suspension did not mean it was
joining the campaign, despite being listed as a "participating business".
The campaign has urged Mr Zuckerberg to take further steps, including
establishing permanent civil rights "infrastructure" within Facebook;
submitting to independent audits of identity-based hate and
misinformation; finding and removing public and private groups publishing
such content; and creating expert teams to review complaints.
In an interview with Reuters, one of the campaign's organisers said it
would also call on European firms to join the boycott. "The next frontier
is global pressure," said Jim Steyer, the chief executive of Common Sense
Media. He added that the campaign hoped European regulators would take a
harder stance on social media firms such as Facebook.
In June, the European Commission announced new guidelines for companies to
submit monthly reports on how they are handling coronavirus-related
Last year, Facebook reported a 27% increase in advertising revenue on the
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