A lot of big companies have been pulling out of Facebook Ads following the #StopHateForProfit campaign. While Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced some significant changes to how the platform intends to tackle hate speech and label posts, he’s still lost a whole lot of money.
Zuckerberg is now $7.2 billion poorer. Facebook’s stocks also fell by 8.3% on Friday. This 8.3% drop is the most Facebook has witnessed in the past three months.
The drop was essentially triggered by Unilever, one of the world’s largest advertisers, joining other companies to boycott ads on Facebook. Unilever has said that it will stop spending money on Facebook properties this year.
The 8.3% drop in share price wiped off $56 billion from Facebook’s market value and pushed Zuckerberg’s net worth down to $82.3 billion, as per Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.
This also moves Zuckerberg one rank down to fourth place on the index with Louis Vuitton chief Bernard Arnault now coming in third. Arnault joins Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates in the top three.
Big names like Verizon, Hershey, etc have also stopped social media ads on Facebook after the company came under heavy criticism for not handling hate speech and disinformation on its platforms effectively. Coca-Cola has also said that they will be pausing all paid adverts on the platforms for at least 30 days.
Zuckerberg did not respond to the ad boycott directly but did address the issue of mounting criticism. He said that the company would label all voting-related posts with a link encouraging users to look at the voter information hub and also added that the company would prohibit hate speech no matter where it came from (read – no matter who it has been posted by).
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Expanding on this, Zuckerberg said that hate speech would include any advert that labeled another demographic as dangerous. For posts that have been allowed to remain on the site since the platform wants users to see them if they defy platform policy in any way, they will be labeled.
Also, if users try to forward or share these posts, they will get a prompt that will say that they could be violating platform policies.
“There are no exceptions for politicians in any of the policies I’m announcing here today,” Zuckerberg said.