Facebook: Insurance firm Aviva latest to join ad boycott

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British insurance company Aviva has become the latest to “pause” advertising on Facebook, in response to how the social network handles hate speech.

He joins Ford, Adidas, HP, Coca Cola, Unilever and Starbucks in reassessing if it should continue.

The Stop Hate for Profit campaign claims that Facebook isn’t doing enough to remove hateful content.

British Facebook director Steve Hatch told the BBC that “there is no profit in the content that is hateful.”

In a BBC statement, Aviva said: “We regularly review the social media platforms we use and have taken this moment to pause and reevaluate Aviva’s use of Facebook for advertising in the UK.”

“I hate in the world”

It comes when 90 brands around the world stop advertising on Facebook in response to the Stop Hate for Profit campaign.

Speaking of BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Hatch defended the social network’s record of hate speech.

“Our systems now remove 90% and automatically detect 90% of that hate speech. And now it’s not perfect, but we know it went from 23% two years ago,” he said.

“As much as we do our best, and there is always more we can do and will do – when there is hatred in the world, there will also be hatred on Facebook.

“The way our systems work is to provide people with content that is most often in millions and millions of cases both fun and safe, and also to allow people to have a discussion.”

Facebook has been under increasing fire since it decided not to remove a post from U.S. President Donald Trump, written in response to protests in the United States over George Floyd’s death.

A comment made by the president – “when looting begins, shooting begins” – was deemed to glorify violence and labeled as such by rival Twitter, but remained on Facebook.

Hatch said: “The debates we see on these topics are extremely demanding and can be very, very broad.”

But Facebook’s inaction left many angry and kicked off the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which wants big brands to boycott the social network during July.

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Media captionThe Patagonian chief tells Dominic O’Connell why they extracted advertisements from Facebook platforms

Some advertisers have suspended spending on social media on Facebook for that month only, while others are planning longer periods.

On Friday, Facebook’s share price fell 8%. In response, he said he will start labeling potentially harmful posts.

A survey by the World Federation of Advertisers suggests that others are likely to follow suit and that other platforms such as Twitter and Snapchat may also be included.

His CEO told the Financial Times that it seemed “a turning point”.


By James Clayton, technology reporter from North America

By far the most famous British company to have joined the boycott so far has been Unilever. But Unilever has a huge presence in the United States – he owns Ben and Jerry, for example.

Aviva no. This is a very British boycott, it only affects the UK.

Facebook has been concerned about the spread of this boycott across the world.

Stop Hate for Profit – the organization that led the campaign in the United States – announced on Monday that it wanted to make the campaign global.

And this is an example of this, a British company that pauses its use of Facebook in Britain.

How much will Facebook worry? Well, every company that joins the boycott progressively increases the company’s advertising revenue.

However, Facebook or Instagram is not expected to account for much of Aviva’s advertising spend, with larger TV and press.

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