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List of big names fleeing Facebook skyrockets as more companies yank ads

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Published in Science & Technology News

Facebook's friends are fleeing in droves.

From Habitat for Humanity to Russian Mail Order Brides, the advertiser exodus escalated from Facebook on Monday as dozens signed on to the "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign designed to purge hate speech from the platform.

So far, more than 150 big-name brands, representing hundreds of millions of dollars of annual spending, have pulled out of Facebook, Forbes reported Monday. While significant in clout, the companies represent a small number of Facebook's 8 million advertisers, BMO Capital Markets analyst Daniel Salmon told Business Insider.

Nonetheless, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had lost at least $7.2 billion by Friday, reported Bloomberg, pushing his net worth down to about $82.3 billion.

By Monday, shares had fallen by more than 10%, and Facebook had lost about $80 billion in value, Forbes estimated.

Although Stop Hate for Profit requested a July ad suspension only, many of the companies said they would hold off for longer.

The list of entities pulling their Facebook and/or Instagram ads grew by leaps and bounds Monday as Ford Motor Co., Best Buy, Puma, Conagra brands, Adidas and subsidiary Reebok, Clorox, Denny's, software company Patreon, spirits manufacturer Beam Suntory (makers of Jim Beam, Maker's Mark and Effen Vodka brands, among others), and numerous other major companies and brands suspended ad ties.

They joined clothing designer Eileen Fisher, Honda, Ben & Jerry's ice cream owner Unilever, Verizon, outdoors companies North Face, Patagonia, Eddie Bauer and REI; Magnolia Pictures, Levi's, Hershey's and dozens of smaller companies, as the Associated Press reported Sunday.

 

PepsiCo "quietly" stepped back from advertising, Bloomberg reported, while Coca-Cola and Starbucks are suspending social media advertising, though the latter two said they are not formally participating in the campaign.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle offered their support to the advertising boycott, reported Axios on Saturday.

Microsoft, it turned out, has been holding back on such advertising since May, weeks before the June 16 launch of Stop Hate for Profit, the computing conglomerate told Axios, though more out of a concern for what their ads appear next to rather than the content of the platform itself.

It's part of an overall reckoning for all social media platforms, from Facebook to YouTube to Reddit, whether they're included in companies' boycotts or not, as the Associated Press reported Monday.

Facebook denies allowing hate speech, even though it has let stand, until recently, misinformation and hate speech.

"We have absolutely no incentive to tolerate hate speech," Facebook vice president for public affairs Nick Clegg told CNN Sunday. "We don't like it, our users don't like it, advertisers understandably don't like it. ... We benefit from positive human connection - not hate."

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