Facebook To Prohibit Hate Speech In Its Ads

Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg said the company will change its policies to prohibit hate speech in its advertisements.

The company is expanding its 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, the chief executive said.

"I'm committed to making sure Facebook remains a place where people can use their voice to discuss important issues...but, I also stand against hate, or anything that incites violence or suppresses voting, and we're committed to removing that no matter where it comes from," Zuckerberg said in a post.

The social media giant is also expanding its 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's announcement came after about 100 brands announced that they would pull their advertising from Facebook for the month of July or longer as part a movement called "Stop Hate For Profit". But, he did not directly address the boycotts.

The boycotting advertisers include big spenders like Unilever and Verizon, along with smaller companies.

The "Stop Hate For Profit" campaign, which is organized by the Anti-Defamation League or ADL, is seeking advertisers to suspend their spending on Facebook and Instagram ads for the month of July 2020.

In addition, Zuckerberg said that Facebook will start to label content that it decides to leave up because it is deemed newsworthy and valuable to the public interest, even if it violates the company's policies.

Facebook will add a prompt to inform users that the content they are sharing may violate the company's policies.

The move came as the Social media giant is under pressure to improve how it moderates the content on its platform, including posts by US President Donald Trump.

Zuckerberg also said there is no newsworthiness exemption to content that incites violence or suppresses voting. Even if a politician or government official says it, if the company determine that content may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote, the company will take that content down.

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