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Microsoft removed ads from Facebook and Instagram starting May: Report

A Microsoft building

Microsoft suspended advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the US in May until August, and recently expanded that to a global suspension, reported Axios.

Unlike other advertisers who have joined an ad boycott against Facebook, Microsoft was concerned about where its ads will appear. According to Microsoft, examples of inappropriate content includes hate speech, pornography, terrorist content, etc. Microsoft had also pulled ads from YouTube over similar concerns, but eventually restored the ads.

Nevertheless, it adds to a growing list of companies that have refused to advertise on Facebook at least temporarily. Companies such as Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and Hersheys have paused advertising on Facebook expressing concern over the company’s handling of misinformation and hate speech, and its reluctance to act against controversial content posted by US President Donald Trump.

The boycotts began after the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) launched the #StopHateforProfit campaign last week when it called on major corporations to put a pause on advertising on Facebook, given the company’s “repeated failure to meaningfully address the vast proliferation of hate on its platforms.” The campaign said that:

What are they doing with $70 billion in revenue and $17 billion in profit? Their hate speech, incitement, and misinformation policies are inequitable. Their harassment victim services are inadequate. Their advertising placement’s proximity to hateful content is haphazard. And their “civil rights” audit transparency reports aren’t helpful to the civil rights community.

Ford, Adidas, HP, Unilever have all pulled ads from Facebook (here is a list of all participating companies). Many companies have only committed to a one-month boycott. Other platforms such as YouTube, Reddit, and Twitch have reacted by suspending channels that spread hate speech, and by expanding their policies against it.

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