Facebook will prohibit hate speech in its ads

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Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington, October 23, 2019.

Erin Scott | Reuters

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Friday said the company will change its policies to prohibit hate speech in its advertisements.

Under its new policies, Facebook will ban ads that claim people from a specific race, ethnicity, nationality, caste, gender, sexual orientation or immigration origin are a threat to the physical safety or health of anyone else, Zuckerberg said. 

“I am committed to making sure Facebook remains a place where people can use their voice to discuss important issues,” Zuckerberg said. “But I also stand against hate or anything that incites violences or suppresses voting, and we’re committed to removing that content too, no matter where it comes from.”

Zuckerberg’s comments come after nearly 100 brands announced that they would pull their advertising from Facebook for the month of July or longer as part a movement called #StopHateForProfit. That movement protests “Facebook’s repeated failure to meaningfully address the vast proliferation of hate on its platforms.” Zuckerberg did not directly address the boycotts on Friday.

These advertisers include Unilever, Verizon, Patagonia, REI, Lending Club and The North Face, according to a running list from Sleeping Giants. The group of organizations includes the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense.

Facebook’s stock was down more than 6% on Friday. 

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