Facebook to Label Violations on Posts from Politicians

Verizon joins several other companies in boycotting ad buys on Facebook

Facebook announces new hate speech and misinformation policies amid advertiser revolt

Zuckerberg said the social network is taking additional steps to counter election-related misinformation.

Facebook is also banning false claims meant to discourage voting, such as stories about federal agents checking legal status at polling places.

The organisers, which include Color of Change and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, have said Facebook allows "racist, violent and verifiably false content to run rampant on its platform".

Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Civic Media, said the changes are a "reminder of how powerful Facebook may be in terms of spreading disinformation during the upcoming election".

Facebook in particular has faced harsh criticism in recent weeks for its decision to leave up posts from the president that many advocates said clearly incited violence.

"If every post that mentions voting links, people will start ignoring those links".

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The company will also point users to official information on voting when they post about the topic and remove posts that try to intimidate or suppress voters.

The company behind Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Dove soap and a host of other consumer products said Friday it will stop advertising on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the US through at least the end of the year because of the amount of hate speech online.

The Anti-Defamation League has applied pressure to major advertisers, including Geico and Verizon, noting what it called "egregious examples of online hate, misinformation and extremism" on the platform.

"The polarized atmosphere places an increased responsibility on brands to build a trusted & safe digital ecosystem", the company tweeted as it joined U.S. telecom giant Verizon and sporting goods makers Patagonia, North Face and REI in the boycott.

Shares of Facebook and Twitter both fell more than 7% on Friday.

In a blog post, the company said it is including Twitter in its social media pullback, along with Facebook and Instagram, through the end of 2020.

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At the heart of the policy changes is an admission that the company will continue to allow politicians and public figures to disseminate hate speech that does, in fact, violate Facebook's own guidelines - but it will add a label to denote they're remaining on the platform due to their "newsworthy" nature.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Unilever's decision, which was reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.

More than 90 advertisers including Unilever's Ben & Jerry's Verizon Communications Inc and The North Face, a unit of VF Corp, have joined the campaign, according to a list by ad activism group Sleeping Giants, a partner in the campaign.

Unilever is not changing its total planned media investment in the US but said it will shift dollars allocated to social networks to other media.

Context: The company previously let figures like President Trump freely post material that appeared to violate policies around issues like targeted harassment and hate speech.

Sarah Personette, Twitter's vice president for global client solutions, said in a statement: "We have developed policies and platform capabilities created to protect and serve the public conversation, and as always, are committed to amplifying voices from underrepresented communities and marginalized groups".

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