With an global advertising boycott against his platform quickly gathering steam, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has pledged new steps to deal with misinformation and hateful content, particularly around issues related to the upcoming U.S. elections.
Shares of the social media company fell 8.3 per cent on Friday, the most in three months, after Unilever, one of the world's largest advertisers, joined other brands in boycotting ads on the social network.
"There are no exceptions for politicians in any of the policies I'm announcing here today", Mr Zuckerberg said.
Nicole Perrin, an analyst at eMarketer, said that it might not be easy to determine this financial impact of the boycott on Facebook, given the significant changes in advertising in the middle of the pandemic.
Facebook has underscored its moves to stem racism in the wake of civil unrest triggered by the May 25 killing of African American George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. The company also said it is increasing its enforcement capacity to remove false claims about local polling conditions in the 72 hours before the US election.
Sey said, that is was in this spirit that the company was voicing its concern about Facebook's failure to stop the spread of misinformation and hate speech on its platform.
Not long after Zuckerberg's livestream, Coca-Cola and Hershey said they, too, were pulling back.
Rising COVID-19 Cases Threaten State Reopening Plans
On Thursday, he suspended elective surgeries in the Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio areas to free up hospital bed space. Luke's Health and Texas Children's Hospital said they are concerned about the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.
Officially boycotting or not, increased calls for transparency will ratchet up the pressure on Facebook to do more to assuage some of its highest-profile advertisers.
Why are companies boycotting Facebook?
The coffee giant joins global brands including Coca-Cola, Diageo and Unilever which have recently removed advertising from social platforms.
"Given our Responsibility Framework and the polarized atmosphere in the USA, we have decided that starting now through at least the end of the year, we will not run brand advertising in social media newsfeed platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the U.S", Unilever explained in a statement released on Friday. The company, which owns brands like Dove and Lipton, said that "continuing to advertise on those platforms would not add value to people". For politicians with massive followings, the organization normally takes the look at that their posts need to be permitted, but the organization applies simple fact-checks to untrue or deceptive tweets, and areas hateful types powering a warning.
Major brands have continued to pull out of advertisement deals with Facebook in protest of the website's lack of action in tackling hate speech and voter suppression, despite it announcing policy changes.
Facebook said it would attach labels to all posts across its network that discuss the subject of voting, in a move meant to hamper any disenfranchisement of voters in the November election.
Sarah Personette, Twitter's vice president for global client solutions, said in a statement: "We have developed policies and platform capabilities created to protect and serve the public conversation, and as always, are committed to amplifying voices from underrepresented communities and marginalized groups". The company said this month that it would allow people in the United States to opt out of seeing social-issue, electoral or political ads from candidates or political action committees in their Facebook or Instagram feeds, for example.
She added that Twitter is "respectful of our partners' decisions and will continue to work and communicate closely with them during this time".