With a growing boycott of ads from large advertisers, Facebook is promising half measures to address politically motivated hate speech and lies.
Rather unsurprisingly, given Facebook’s affection for right wing conspiracy theorists and racists, these motions are limited to a bland notice.
Hopefully, the advertisers will see through this:
As advertisers pull away from Facebook to protest the social networking giant’s hands-off approach to misinformation and hate speech, the company is instituting a number of stronger policies to woo them back.
In a livestreamed segment of the company’s weekly all-hands meeting, CEO Mark Zuckerberg recapped some of the steps Facebook is already taking, and announced new measures to fight voter suppression and misinformation — although they amount to things that other social media platforms like Twitter have already enacted and enforced in more aggressive ways.
At the heart of the policy changes is an admission that the company will continue to allow politicians and public figures to disseminate hate speech that does, in fact, violate Facebook’s own guidelines — but it will add a label to denote they’re remaining on the platform because of their “newsworthy” nature.
It’s a watered-down version of the more muscular stance that Twitter has taken to limit the ability of its network to amplify hate speech or statements that incite violence.
Facebook is also going to take additional steps to restrict hate speech in advertising.
“Specifically, 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,” Zuckerberg said. “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.”
Zuckerberg’s remarks came days of advertisers — most recently Unilever and Verizon — announced that they’re going to pull their money from Facebook as part the #StopHateforProfit campaign organized by civil rights groups.