Facebook loses $7 billion due to ad boycotts by big names

Facebook market value drops a whopping $56 billion as major corporations pull ads over company’s failure to block hate speech and fake news.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Facebook’s failure to adequately monitor hate speech and fake news has cost it over $7 billion in advertising losses, Bloomberg reported over the weekend.

Major advertisers continued to cancel advertising contacts with the social media giant, helping plunge the value of Facebook shares by 8.3 percent on Friday alone – its worst loss in the past three months, the report said.

Retail giant Unilever, one of the world’s largest advertisers, joined other major brands last week in pulling their advertising from the social media platform. Unilever had almost $60 billion in revenue last year and markets thousands of food, beverage, home care, beauty and personal care brands worldwide.

The drop in Facebook shares knocked $56 billion off of Facebook’s market value and dropped Zuckerberg’s personal net worth to $82.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, making him now only the fourth richest person in the world. His former third place position is now occupied by Louis Vuitton CEO Bernard Arnault.

Amazon owner Jeff Bezos and Microsoft founder Bill Gates top the list.

Coca-Cola, Verizon Communications and the Hershey candy company also announced they stopped advertising on social media in the wake of criticism that Facebook has not done enough to combat the vast amounts of hate speech and fake news that is spread on its platform.

On Friday, Zuckerberg said Facebook would now label all voting-related posts and expanded its definition of prohibited hate speech, adding a clause saying no advertising would be accepted if it attacks another demographic, labeling such content as “dangerous.”

“There are no exceptions for politicians in any of the policies I’m announcing here today,” Zuckerberg said.

Facebook and Zuckerberg have come under intense criticism for refusing to remove Holocaust denial from its platform, which Zuckerberg defended the policy in the name of freedom of expression.