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Starbucks takes stand against hate speech, pauses all social media advertising

Starbucks is joining the growing list of companies that have pulled out advertising dollars from social media, in a stand against the hate speech that has become prevalent on the online platforms.

“We believe more must be done to create welcoming and inclusive online communities, and we believe both business leaders and policymakers need to come together to affect real change,” Starbucks said in a statement.

“We will pause advertising on all social media platforms while we continue discussions internally, with our media partners, and with civil rights organizations in the effort to stop the spread of hate speech,” the company added.

The social media advertising pause, however, will not include YouTube, a spokesperson for Starbucks told The Verge. The coffee chain will also continue posting on social media channels, but it will not launch paid promotions.

Starbucks’ move follows a similar one by Coca-Cola, which said that it will be pulling out of social media advertising completely for 30 days.

“There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media,” Coca Cola CEO and Chairman James Quincey said in a statement to CNBC.

Facebook advertising boycott

The largest advertising boycott against Facebook, named the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, was launched due to how the social network handled the post of President Donald Trump on the Minneapolis protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd, which was blocked and labeled on Twitter for “glorifying violence.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg then revealed changes to several content moderation policies, including banning hate speech in ads.

Unilever and Verizon are among the major brands that have withdrawn advertising on Facebook. Similarly to Coca-Cola, Starbucks’ decision is not part of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, a spokesperson told Digital Trends.

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