Verizon joins Facebook ad boycott

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 26 June 2020

Verizon is joining an advertising boycott against Facebook over the platform’s handling of hate speech.

The company becomes one of the biggest brands to suspend ads with the social media giant, joining Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia and REI.

The boycott against Facebook comes after the #StopHateForProfit movement was launched in the US by advocacy groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and Sleeping Giants, urging brands to boycott Facebook for its “repeated failure to meaningfully address the vast proliferation of hate on its platform”.

Verizon’s decision to pull its ads on Facebook products, including Instagram, comes a day after an open letter by the Anti-Defamation League said it found a Verizon ad placed “next to a video from the conspiracy group QAnon drawing on hateful and antisemitic rhetoric”.

“We have strict content policies in place and have zero tolerance when they are breached, we take action,” Verizon’s chief media officer John Nitti says.

“We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with what we’ve done with YouTube and other partners.”

The #StopHateforProfit campaign is asking advertisers in the US to suspend advertising with Facebook for the month of July to pressure it into providing measures such as more support for people who are targets of racism and hate, and to increase safety for private groups on the platform.

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