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Disney Reportedly Cutting Ad Spending On Facebook

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Entertainment giant Walt Disney has become the latest to join the growing list of companies to boycott ad spending on the popular social media site Facebook, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

It has also suspended ad spending on Facebook-owned Instagram for its streaming service called Hulu. Other divisions of Disney also are expected to follow suit.

Walt Disney has paused advertising of its Disney+ streaming-video service, which was placing ads regularly since the beginning of the year.

According to research firm Pathmatics, Inc., it has spent an estimated $210 million on Facebook ads for Disney+ in the U.S. in the first half of 2020, making it the biggest ad spender during the period. Walt Disney is said to be the second largest Facebook advertiser in the U.S. after Home Depot Inc. in 2019.

Nearly hundreds of companies and brands have announced the pull-out of their ads from Facebook as part of a movement called "Stop Hate For Profit" for Facebook's inept handling of hate speech and controversial divisive content on its platforms.

These companies include telecom giant Verizon, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Adidas, Ford Motor, ice cream brand Ben & Jerry's, various sports and outdoor lifestyle companies and more. Eileen Fisher, Ben & Jerry's, Eddie Bauer, Patagonia, and The North Face have also already stopped their ads on the platform.

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

The "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign has been organized to protest against Facebook's handling of objectionable posts as well as its moderation approach. While the boycott initially began with Facebook, it has now spread to other social media platforms too.

Facebook has come under intense pressure to improve how it moderates the content on its platform, including recent controversial posts by U.S. President Donald Trump.

In late June, Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg said in response to the boycott campaign that his company would change its policies to prohibit hate speech in its advertisements.

The social media giant added it would expand its policies to better protect immigrants, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from ads that suggest these groups are inferior or express contempt, dismissal or disgust directed at them.

Civil rights organizations including NAACP, Color of Change, and ADL also asked companies to stop advertising on Facebook and Instagram as FB did not heed to stop hate speech on its platform in the wake of George Floyd's custody death.

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