Skip to main content

Facebook will label controversial content, ban hate speech in ads after boycott

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the social network will be changing several content moderation policies after a number of major advertisers pledged to boycott the company. In a major reversal, Zuckerberg said the company would ban hate speech in paid advertisements on the platform and start cracking down on harmful posts by public figures.

Zuckerberg revealed the changes in a video and post on Facebook, where the CEO said that the social network is “prohibiting a wider category of hateful content in ads.”

“Specifically, we’re expanding our ads policy to prohibit claims that people from a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status are a threat to the physical safety, health or survival of others. We’re also expanding our policies to better protect immigrants, migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from ads suggesting these groups are inferior or expressing contempt, dismissal or disgust directed at them.”

Zuckerberg also said that Facebook will start labeling content left up on the platform even if they violate moderation policies when they are deemed newsworthy. The CEO, however, clarified that there will be no exemption for posts that incite violence or suppress voting — such content will be taken down, even when said by a politician or government official.

Other changes coming to Facebook include the creation of a Voting Information Center that will share information on voting, and additional measures to fight voter suppression such as the quick removal of false claims about polling conditions in the 72 hours before Election Day and banning posts that falsely claim ICE agents are inspecting immigration papers.

Facebook advertiser boycott

The changes follow Facebook’s largest advertising boycott, due to how it handled President Donald Trump’s post about the Minneapolis protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd, which was blocked and labeled on Twitter for “glorifying violence.” At the time, Facebook refused to label or remove the same post on Trump’s Facebook page. Zuckerberg personally defended the decision on multiple occasions.

The campaign, which is officially titled Stop Hate for Profit, demands for the social network to “address racism across their platforms.”

Unilever and Verizon are among the major brands that have pulled ads from the social network, joining ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s, production company Magnolia Pictures, and retailers Eddie Bauer, REI, Patagonia, and The North Face, among many others.

Editors' Recommendations

Aaron Mamiit
Aaron received a NES and a copy of Super Mario Bros. for Christmas when he was 4 years old, and he has been fascinated with…
Facebook actively lobbied for a TikTok ban in Washington, report claims
tiktok logo next to trump

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg may have been a key force behind President Donald Trump’s executive order on TikTok. According to The Wall Street Journal, Zuckerberg actively lobbied for a TikTok ban in private meetings with members of Congress that are tough on China and the president himself.

People familiar with the matter told the Journal that, behind the scenes in Washington and during White House dinners, Zuckerberg warned that the rise of Chinese internet companies could threaten American businesses and fueled the Congress’ existing fears of TikTok’s soaring popularity posing a national security risk.

Read more
Facebook reportedly considering ‘kill switch’ if Trump contests 2020 elections
Trump with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stylized image

Facebook is reportedly preparing for various scenarios after the 2020 presidential election -- including President Donald Trump using the social network to delegitimize the results.

Among the outcomes for which Facebook employees are planning include the possibility of Trump falsely declaring on the platform that he won the vote for another four-year term, The New York Times reported. The social network is also considering the possibility of Trump trying to invalidate the results by claiming the U.S. Postal Service lost mail-in ballots or that other groups interfered with the election, sources told the news outlet.

Read more
Facebook’s automated hate speech detection is getting even better
fbi wants social media data facebook app mem2

Facebook’s proactive hate speech detection technology has gotten much better, according to a new report. 

The social network published the sixth edition of its Community Standards Enforcement Report on Tuesday, August 11. The big takeaway is that the company is getting better at detecting hate speech instances. The report looked at data from the second quarter of this year. 

Read more