• Roundabout team

Unilever is returning back to Facebook

Last summer Unilever joined the 1.100 brands who stopped advertising on Facebook as a protest against hate speech and misinformation.

Civil-rights groups including the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP asked marketers to pull ad spending from Facebook for July in a campaign they dubbed "Stop Hate for Profit," saying the social-media giant hadn't made enough progress battling hate speech and misinformation on its platforms.

Some boycott participants, including Heineken , Ben & Jerry's. Birchbox, Adidas, Dunkin' and many others, returned back to advertising earlier. However Unilever did not make their return yet.

Coca-Cola Co., which halted all social-media advertising in July but returned to Facebook and Instagram on Oct. 15, according to a company spokeswoman. It had previously resumed advertising on YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Unilever said Thursday that it felt Facebook has made enough progress for it to feel comfortable resuming advertising with the company.

"We are encouraged by the commitments the platforms are making to build healthier environments for consumers, brands and society in alignment with the principles of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media," said Luis Di Como, executive vice president of global media for Unilever, in a statement. "This is why we plan to end our social media investment pause in the U.S. in January. We will continue to reassess our position as necessary."

Facebook said it is developing controls to help advertisers manage what type of content their ads appear next to and is testing potential solutions internally.

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, said Unilever and other large and small advertisers who pulled ads from Facebook helped push the social-media giant to begin to address the problem of hate speech on its platforms.

"I don't believe that the company would have taken action to remove white supremacist content, eject militia groups, take down Holocaust denialism, and other steps if not for our campaign," he said. "We deeply appreciate Unilever's commitment to holding Facebook accountable."

But Facebook has not done enough to address the root of the problem, Mr. Greenblatt added.

So back to normal , or still some more actions to come in the near future?


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