Facebook said Friday it would ban a "broader category of hate content" in advertisements, as the controversial social media giant moved to respond to growing protests against the treatment of inflammatory messages.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook would also add tags to articles that are "newsworthy" but violate the platform's rules - Twitter suite , which used such tags on President Donald Trump's tweets .
The initiative comes with the main social network facing a growing boycott of advertisers - with the soda colossus Coca-Cola and the Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever joining on Friday - as activists seek more severe action on the content they perceive as discrimination, hatred or violence.
New hate content policy in ads will ban claims that people of any race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, s3xual orientation, gender identity or immigration status threaten physical security, health or the survival of others, said Zuckerberg.
"We are also expanding our policy to better protect immigrants, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers," he continued.
Facebook highlighted its measures to combat racism in the aftermath of the civil unrest caused by the murder of the American George Floyd on May 25 by the Minneapolis Police Department.
"We invest billions of dollars each year to keep our community safe and we are constantly working with outside experts to review and update our policies," said a spokesperson.
"The investments we have made in (artificial intelligence) guarantee that we find almost 90% of hate speech" and take action before users report it.
Zuckerberg said the "newsworthy" exemption normally occurs "several times a year" when Facebook decides to leave a message that should normally be deleted if the rules are violated.
As part of the new policy, Zuckerberg said, "We will soon start labeling some of the content that we leave behind because it is deemed to be worth publishing so that people can know when it is. . "
He said that users are allowed to share content, "but we will add a prompt to let people know that the content they share may violate our policies."
Internet platforms came under heavy pressure from activists after Floyd's death.
A coalition, including the National Association for the Advancement of People of Color (NAACP), has urged businesses to stop advertising on Facebook, using the hashtag # StopHateForProfit.
At the same time, Trump and his allies have expressed their anger at what they believe to be partisan of the Conservatives.
The boycott of brands is accelerating
Zuckerberg made no mention of the boycott, but said the changes were based on "comments from the civil rights community and reflecting months of work with our civil rights listeners".
Coca-Cola, a major player in global advertising, said it would suspend social media advertising for at least 30 days as it would reassess its policy, although it said the decision was unrelated to the #StopHateForProfit campaign.
"There is no room for racism in the world and there is no room for racism on social media," said James Quincey, president and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, in a short press release.
He said social media companies should offer "more accountability and transparency".
Unilever, which houses brands such as Lipton tea and Ben and Jerry's ice cream, said it would stop advertising on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the United States until the end of 2020 due to its "period polarized electoral system ".
US Honda said it would stop Facebook ads in July, & # 39; choose to come together with people united against hatred and racism & # 39; and added to a list with the American telecommunications giant Verizon and the sporting goods manufacturers Patagonia, North Face and REI.
The Facebook hate speech campaign in advertisements "is welcome, but (they) are responsible for a small portion of the malicious content on the platform," said Graham Brookie, director of the Digital Forensics Research Lab at 'Atlantic Council, which misinformed on social networks.
Michelle Amazeen, professor of political communication at Boston University, said the details were still unclear.
"Does Facebook allow independent verification of the content they mark and the resulting effects on distribution?" she asked.