Verizon stops advertising on Facebook; Backs “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Verizon Wireless, the American telecommunications company, is the biggest yet to join the list of companies to boycott Facebook by pulling their advertisements off the social media platform for the month of July.

The step is taken in support of the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign that points out Facebook Inc’s lack of action to curb hate, misinformation and controversial content on its platform.

“Our brand safety standards have not changed. 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,”
Verizon Spokesperson

The campaign has been gaining ground in the past few days with many companies expressing their solidarity by pausing their advertisements with the platform. Some major names out of the 100 companies that have committed to the initiative include Eddie Bauer, Ben & Jerry’s, The North Face, Patagonia, REI, Mozilla, Upwork, Arc’teryx, Eileen Fisher, Magnolia Pictures, HigherRing, Dashlane and Talkspace.

The boycott was launched on June 17th and was ideated by a number of groups like NAACP,  Anti-Defamation League, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense.

“Your ad buying dollars are being used by the platform to increase its dominance in the industry at the expense of vulnerable and marginalized communities who are often targets of hate groups on Facebook,” wrote Jonathan Greenblatt, President of the Anti-Defamation League addressing all the advertisers on Facebook while highlighting how their ads appeared next to such hateful content. Once companies’ see this, we are hopeful that more of them will come out to support the initiative, he said.

“We respect any brand’s decision and remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information,” responded Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president of global business.

A European Commission report suggests that Facebook removed 86% of hate content from its platforms last year.