Clorox pulls Facebook ads as boycott grows

Facebook has lost a number of corporate advertisers in recent days

The Clorox Company will suspend advertising on Facebook through the end of the year, joining a growing list of companies participating in a boycott of the social media giant in response to its policies on hate speech and misinformation.

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“As a people-centered company committed to our values, we feel compelled to take action against hate speech, which we believe will increase through the balance of the year,” Clorox said in a statement. “This creates an increasingly unhealthy environment for people and our purpose-driven brands.”

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Clorox added that it would “maintain our planned level of advertising spending but shift to other media.” The company’s brands include Burt’s Bees, Kingsford, Pine-Sol, Hidden Valley Ranch and Brita.

Facebook has lost a number of corporate advertisers in recent days. The boycott was organized by several civil rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP and Sleeping Giants. Dubbed “Stop Hate For Profit,” the campaign argues that Facebook and other social media platforms haven’t done enough to address racism and hate speech on their platforms.

"We invest billions of dollars each year to keep our community safe and continuously work with outside experts to review and update our policies," a Facebook representative said in a statement on the boycott. "We’ve opened ourselves up to a civil rights audit, and we have banned 250 white supremacist organizations from Facebook and Instagram."

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CLXCLOROX222.16+2.59+1.18%
FBFACEBOOK INC.233.42-4.13-1.74%

"The investments we have made in AI mean that we find nearly 90% of Hate Speech we action before users report it to us, while a recent EU report found Facebook assessed more hate speech reports in 24 hours than Twitter and YouTube. We know we have more work to do, and we’ll continue to work with civil rights groups, GARM, and other experts to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight," the spokesperson added.

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Aside from Clorox, companies that have pulled advertising from Facebook and other social media platforms include Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Unilever, Starbucks, Ben and Jerry’s and Verizon.

Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout earlier this month after company executives declined to add a warning label to President Trump’s post that looting would lead to shooting during nationwide protests against racial inequality. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reversed course last week, announcing the platform would begin to label posts from politicians that violate its policies.

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Clorox said it “will continue to monitor this situation and revisit our position as needed.”

“In the meantime, we will evolve our standards and guidelines for progress for all platforms and publishers to reflect our rising expectations for greater responsibility as these channels continue to become a more important part of people’s lives,” the company said.

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