In the face of a massive advertiser boycott over the company’s alleged failure to stop the spread of “hate speech,” social media giant Facebook said it’s making a renewed effort to weed out “offensive” speech – i.e., anything progressives don’t like – on its platform.
The pledge comes after a long (and still growing) list of largely left-leaning companies - including Coca-Cola, Ben & Jerry’s, Starbucks, Patagonia, Hershey’s, Honda and Verizon - pulled their ads from the social media site to demand the company crack down on alleged “hate speech” targeting minorities and immigrants.
After joining the #StopHateForProfit boycott, Starbucks, the sixth-largest advertiser on Facebook, said in statement, “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."
Facebook (FB) Vice President for Public Affairs Nick Clegg told CNN’s Brian Stelter Sunday that the company will “redouble” their efforts to stop “hate speech” on their platform, focusing on ads that attack minorities, immigrants, and asylum seekers, and painting those groups as “threats.”
"Unfortunately, zero tolerance doesn't mean zero occurrence," Clegg said. "That's why we constantly need to improve, implementing our policies, enforcing them so that we can seek out what, thankfully, is still a very small minority, but damaging minority, of content on the platform to make people feel safe and for people to continue to enjoy the positive useful experience that people come onto Facebook for in the first place."
"We will continue what we think is the only sense of the way forward, to have clear rules, to bear down aggressively on hate speech in particular," Clegg said. "We understand that it's a very fraught intense time in the nation, and we will continue to demonstrate our sincerity dealing with this problem with the responsibility that we clearly do bear."
Facebook, along with other social media platforms including Twitter and YouTube, have come under fire from conservative organizations and media outlets for using their "anti-hate speech" rules to target right-leaning content they simply don't agree with under the guise of cracking down on offensive or violent speech.