Starbucks and Beam Suntory pause advertising on social media

▶ Watch Video: Facebook to start labeling rule-breaking posts

Starbucks and Beam Suntory both announced Sunday that they will be halting advertising on social media. The two companies are the latest to announce a freeze on advertising as a result of social media platforms’ failure to limit hate speech and misinformation.

“We stand up for what’s right, and we stand with all who are committed to the fight against hate speech, racism and prejudice. That’s why Beam Suntory is joining #StopHateForProfit, pausing all paid Facebook and Instagram advertising in the US across our brand portfolio throughout July,” the liquor company said in a statement.

Starbucks did not single out Facebook or mention the #StopHateForProfit movement, but did say it believes “more must be done to create welcoming and inclusive online communities, and we believe both business leaders and policy makers need to come together to affect real change.”

“We will pause advertising on all social media platforms while we continue discussions internally, with our media partners and with civil rights organizations in the effort to stop the spread of hate speech,” the coffee giant said on its website.

The two companies join the likes of Unilever, Verizon and Coca-Cola in halting advertising on social media through at least the month of July.

“We have made substantial progress, and we acknowledge the efforts of our partners, but there is much more to be done, especially in the areas of divisiveness and hate speech during this polarized election period in the U.S.,” Unilever said in a Friday statement. “The complexities of the current cultural landscape have placed a renewed responsibility on brands to learn, respond and act to drive a trusted and safe digital ecosystem.”

Following the ad pulls from Verizon and Unilever, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the social media platform would start labeling posts that it deems have violated its rules but chooses to leave up due to its “newsworthiness.”

“We will soon start labeling some of the content we leave up because it is deemed newsworthy, so people can know when this is the case,” Zuckerberg wrote in a post on Friday explaining the policy change. “We’ll allow people to share this content to condemn it, just like we do with other problematic content, because this is an important part of how we discuss what’s acceptable in our society — but we’ll add a prompt to tell people that the content they’re sharing may violate our policies.”

Other companies that have pulled ads include outdoor brands Patagonia, REI and The North Face.

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