Verizon pulls ads from Facebook, Instagram as ‘trust deficit’ grows

US telecom carrier Verizon has announced to pull ads from Facebook and Instagram, joining the chorus against the social network over the spread of misinformation and hate speech on its platforms.

Several big and small advertisers like apparel brand North Face, ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s, outdoor apparel stores REI and Patagonia, freelancing platform Upwork, shipping company Local Postal, password manager Dashlane and outwear company Arc’teryx have joined the boycott, among several others.

“We have strict content policies in place and have zero tolerance when they are breached, we take action,” Verizon’s chief media officer John Nitti told CNBC on Thursday.

“We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with what we’ve done with YouTube and other partners”.

From May 22 and June 20, Verizon spent nearly $1.5 million on Facebook and about $500,000 on Instagram, said the report.

Civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, launched the #StopHateForProfit campaign on June 17, pressuring large companies to halt advertising on Facebook.

The social network is facing criticism for its inaction over Trump posts that glorified violence in the aftermath of the death of African-American George Floyd.

Facebook has admitted there is a “trust deficit”.

“There is a trust deficit. You try to make a decision and people disagree and maybe that builds that deficit even deeper,” the company’s head of trust and safety Neil Potts was quoted as saying this week.

Potts told a group of nearly 200 advertisers that Facebook is working to close the trust gap.