Critics and some big brands are dissatisfied with how Facebook deals with misinformation and hate speech.

Angela Lang / CNET

How Facebook is dealing with an ad boycott The social network assembled by civil rights groups has reportedly lost a significant chunk of its business from one of its largest advertisers: Disney. The entertainment giant has cut its advertising spending on Facebook seriously, the Wall Street Journal said on Saturday, citing unnamed sources.

The cuts include an advertising break for top-class streaming service Disney PlusHulu said the timeframe for the cuts is unclear, and ads on Facebook Instagram have been discontinued for another streaming service, Hulu.

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The news comes in the midst of the # StopHateforProfit campaign, a boycott designed to get the social network to do more against hate speech and misinformation. Brands that have publicly joined the boycott include Microsoft, Verizon, Volkswagen and Sony Interactive. Unlike these brands, Disney has made no public announcement, but has tacitly reduced Facebook ads, the journal said. The campaign was launched by a group of civil rights organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP.

In the first six months of this year, Disney was Facebook's largest U.S. advertiser, according to the Journal, and was number 2 after Home Depot in 2019. According to the Journal, Disney Plus accounts for a large part of Disney's marketing efforts. Disney has spent an estimated $ 210 million on Facebook ads for service in the United States.

Disney "is concerned about Facebook's enforcement of objectionable content," the journal said.

Last week, the boycott organizers met with Facebook executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, but said the company executives "provided the same old topics of conversation to reassure us." Facebook, for its part, said in a statement at the time: "They want Facebook to be free of hate speech, and so do we. That's why it's so important that we work to get it right."

Disney did not immediately respond to CNET's request to comment on the journal's Saturday report.

A Facebook spokesman said in a statement to CNET that the social network spends billions of dollars annually to ensure user safety and that it works with outside specialists to review and improve its policies.

"We know we have more to do," the statement said, "and we will continue to work with civil rights groups and other experts to develop more tools, technologies, and policies to continue this struggle."


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