Starbucks joins over 100 brands in pausing ads on Facebook

American coffee giant Starbucks has announced to pull ads from Facebook and other social media platforms, joining giants like Coca-Cola, Honda, Unilever, Verizon, Hersheys and others who have decided to boycott advertising on Facebook for its inaction over spread of hate speech and disinformation.

Starbucks said that it believes in bringing communities together, both in person and online, and stand against hate speech.

“We believe more must be done to create welcoming and inclusive online communities, and we believe both business leaders and policy makers need to come together to affect real change,” the company said in a statement on Sunday.

“We will pause advertising on all social media platforms while we continue discussions internally, with our media partners and with civil rights organizations in the effort to stop the spread of hate speech,” it added.

Shares of Facebook plunged more than 8 per cent on last reported trading day on Friday. The social network makes about 98 per cent of its $70 billion annual revenue from advertising.

Alarmed at the rate at which advertisers are pull out of its platform, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Saturday announced the social network will put warning labels on all posts that break its rules but are deemed newsworthy.

Zucekrberg said they will soon start labeling some of the content we leave up because it is deemed newsworthy, so people can know when this is the case.

“Even if a politician or government official says it, if we determine that content may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote, we will take that content down,” Zuckerberg said adding that there are no exceptions for “politicians in any of the policies I’m announcing here today”.

Facebook’s decision now opens the door to label controversial posts by US President Donald Trump.

Twitter has already flagged couple of his controversial tweets while Facebook is facing widespread criticism for its inaction over Trump posts that glorified violence in the aftermath of the death of African-American George Floyd.