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Coca-Cola stops FB advertising over hate speech concerns

With Secret Ink - London

The Soda giant has announced it had stopped its advertising on Facebook globally for the minimum of 30 days until the social media platform will tackle accusations of hate speech proliferation, and work out a set of necessary policies.

The official statement from James Quincey, the Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, came out earlier today: “There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media. The Coca-Cola Company will pause paid advertising on all social media platforms globally for at least 30 days. We will take this time to reassess our advertising policies to determine whether revisions are needed. We also expect greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners ”.

More than 90 international companies had already pulled their paid advertising from Facebook in support of #StopHateforProfit campaign.

However, Coca-Cola told CNBC its advertising suspension did not mean it was joining the campaign, despite being listed as a “participating business”.

Bloomberg reported that financial boycott in 8,3% fall of Facebook shares, eliminating $56bn (£45bn) from the company’s market value and knocking $7.2bn off Zuckerberg’s personal net worth,

Founder Mark Zuckerberg promised to ban advertising containing claims “that people of a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status” are a threat to others.

The #StopHateforProfit coalition responded with skepticism based upon their experience of the past: “We have been down this road before with Facebook. They have made apologies in the past. They have taken meagre steps after each catastrophe where their platform played a part. But this has to end now”.

The campaign demanded from Zuckerberg to take further, more defined, and substantial measures such as establishing permanent civil rights infrastructure within his company, submitting to independent audits of identity-based hate and misinformation, finding and removing public and private groups publishing such content, and creating expert teams to review complaints.

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