Verizon Joins Facebook, Instagram Ad Boycott

Mark Zuckerberg  - April 10, 2018 - Getty - H 2019
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The telecoms giant, which spent almost $2 million in advertising on the two platforms in the last month, is the biggest company yet to commit to the #StopHateForProfit social media campaign.

Verizon became the biggest company yet to join the growing #StopHateForProfit campaign, with the telecoms giant pledging on Thursday to pull its ads from Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram until the social media platforms "can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable."

CNBC reported that Verizon was suspending its Facebook ads. "We have strict content policies in place and have zero tolerance when they are breached, we take action," Verizon’s chief media officer John Nitti told CNBC in a statement.

Nitti added: "We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with what we’ve done with YouTube and other partners."

Citing figures from analytics firm Pathmatics, CNBC reported that Verizon was the 78th biggest advertiser on Facebook during the period of May 22 and June 20, with the company spending $1.4 million on Facebook and almost $500,000 on Instagram. 

The boycott, launched last Wednesday, is organized jointly by the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense. It called on companies to suspend advertising on Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram for the month of July because of the spread of misinformation, racism and violence on those platforms and the company's lack of willingness to tackle that content. 

The campaign was launched with the #StopHateForProfit hashtag on social media and since then dozens of companies large and small have committed to joining the boycott.  

On Tuesday, Magnolia became the first Hollywood company to join the boycott. The company, which distributed I Am Not Your Negro and Shoplifters, tweeted, "In solidarity with the #StopHateForProfit movement, Magnolia Pictures has chosen to stop advertising on Facebook and Instagram, starting immediately, through at least the end of July. We are seeking meaningful change at Facebook and the end to their amplification of hate speech."

Other companies that have pledged to boycott Facebook and Instagram ads include Ben & Jerry's, REI, Patagonia, Eddie Bauer, The North Face, Arc'teryx, Upwork, 360i and Dashlane.