Facebook to flag all `newsworthy` posts from politicians that break rules

Brenda Watkins
June 27, 2020

At the time, Twitter began incorporating actuality-examining labels to hundreds of tweets that were being considered to be deceptive or downright wrong.

But in a livestreamed announcement Friday, Zuckerberg sought to strike a middle ground. "This does not make us an "arbiter of truth", Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said". Often, seeing speech from politicians is in the public interest, and in the same way that news outlets will report what a politician says, we think people should generally be able to see it for themselves on our platforms. The American news website said Proctor and Gamble, Unilever's main competitor, spent 10 times that amount this month and has yet to announce a similar boycott.

Zuckerberg also said in the video that posts that "may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote" will be removed regardless of who posts them or whether they may be considered newsworthy. In addition, we will now join the #stophateforprofit boycott.

Observers say Zuckerberg is being forced to change policy in the face of growing protests.

A Voting Information Center will appear at the top of Facebook's News Feed and Instagram's feed, directing users to information on how and where to vote, including voting by mail and early voting.

Facebook makes about 98 per cent of its $101 billion ($US70 billion) in annual revenue from advertising.

Not only will it stop advertising on Facebook and Instagram platforms in the USA for the rest of 2020 - it is also staying away from Twitter. The company, which is one of the world's biggest marketing spenders, cited a need to end divisiveness and hate speech during a polarized election season.

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"Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society", Unilever said in an emailed statement. The company was the 30th-highest spender on Facebook advertising in 2019, pouring more than $42 million into the platform, according to estimates by the advertising intelligence company Pathmatics.

Not long after Zuckerberg's livestream, Coca-Cola and Hershey said they, too, were pulling back. These pauses have varied from 30 days to "at least" the end of 2020 in Unilever's case.

"Given our Responsibility Framework and the polarized atmosphere in the USA, we have decided that starting now through at least the end of the year, we will not run brand advertising in social media newsfeed platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the U.S", Unilever explained in a statement released on Friday. "We also expect greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners". We have now cut our spending on Facebook and their platforms, including Instagram, by a third for the remainder of the year. "Unless Facebook changes and takes crucial steps to curtail the spread of racism and bigotry, it will continue to suffer consequences".

The move comes as 90 advertisers, including Unilever (UL), Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and Verizon (VZ), which is the parent company of Yahoo Finance's parent company Verizon Media, have boycotted the site.

"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", said Sarah Personette, vice president for Twitter's Global Client Solutions.

"We invest billions of dollars each year to keep our community safe and continuously work with outside experts to review and update our policies", the spokesperson said.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder, and CEO of the organization, revealed on Friday a slew of new initiatives aimed at battling divisive rhetoric and misinformation.

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