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Facebook, Twitter Drop as Unilever, Honda Join Ad Boycott

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) slumped Friday as industry giants pulled ads in a boycott of the social media giant driven by the Anti-Defamation League. Honda Motor Co.’s U.S. division was the latest to join the fray, saying it would suspends ads for the month of July, according to CNBC.

Unilever (NYSE:UL) said earlier on Friday it will stop advertising on Facebook, as well as Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), for the rest of the year, citing hate speech and divisive content. Verizon (NYSE:VZ) joined the Facebook boycott on Thursday. Ad Age reported that Verizon spent $850,000 in ads on Facebook in the first three weeks of June. Honda spent $1.1 million in ads on Facebook in 2019, CNBC reported.

Facebook and Twitter shares both fell more than 7% to their lowest in more than a month.

Mark Zuckerberg posted a statement in the afternoon saying that Facebook would create a higher standard for hateful content in ads, though “there is a public interest in allowing a wider range of free expressions in people’s posts than in paid ads.”

The company will also label some content and will remove anything that incites violence or suppresses voting, including if posted by a politician or government official. Facebook will also ramp up its Elections Operations Centers in the 72 hours leading up to election day to remove false claims about polling conditions, including any posts regarding false claims that immigration enforcement agents will be checking for immigration papers at polling places.

The Anti-Defamation League accused Facebook of using $70 billion to allow “incitement to violence against protesters fighting for racial justice in America,” and for allowing for voter suppression.

The North Face and Patagonia are also participating in the “Stop the Hate for Profit” campaign.

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