Source: MarketWatch
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  • A boycott campaign to stop hate speech on Facebook has seen advertisers pull their accounts from the social media giant
  • Facebook’s shares fell 8.3 per cent on the Nasdaq as a result, wiping
    US$56 billion (approximately A$81.49 billion) from the company’s value
  • It’s estimated the boycott has cost Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg US$7.2 billion (around A$10.47 billion)
  • Amongst the big names pulling their advertising dollars are Unilever, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Levi Strauss
  • Facebook has responded, promising to crack down on comments which target race, gender or sexual orientation.

Failure to crack-down on hate speech has resulted in Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg losing US$7.2 billion, as advertisers boycott the social media giant.

The company’s shares fell 8.3 per cent on the Nasdaq on Friday, as a growing number of companies joined the boycott.

The dive cost Mark Zuckerburg US$7.2 billion (around A$10.47 billion), and the company US$56 billion (approximately A$81.49 billion), according to Bloomberg.

The boycott began earlier this month when a civil rights coalition began raising concerns about the amount of hate speech allowed on Facebook.

Stop Hate For Profit is asking businesses to stand in solidarity with its cause, and not advertise on Facebook’s services in July.

The campaign began gaining traction within days, with companies such as Ben & Jerry’s and The North Face pledging to suspend advertising on Facebook.

The company responded, with Mr Zuckerberg promising to stop the amount of hateful content featured on the site.

“We’re expanding our ads policy to prohibit claims that people from a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status are a threat to the physical safety, health or survival of others,” he wrote in a post on Friday.

“We’re also expanding our policies to better protect immigrants, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from ads suggesting these groups are inferior or expressing contempt, dismissal or disgust directed at them,” he continued.

However, the post failed to stop more companies signing up to the boycott.

These included big names like Starbucks, Hershey’s, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Levi Strauss, Honda and Verizon.

The boycott is expected to last for a month, however, many companies who signed up indicated they may stop advertising with Facebook permanently.

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