The Walt Disney Company has made significant cuts to its ad budget on Facebook, joining a growing cadre of big-name advertisers who are boycotting the social media over its handling of hate speech.
According to the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, Disney has pulled its ads for Disney Plus on Facebook. Ads for Hulu, for which Disney is majority owner and completely controls, have been cut from Facebook’s Instagram platform.
According to data compiled by Pathmatics Inc. cited in the WSJ report, Disney spent around $210 million in the first half of 2020 promoting Disney Plus on Facebook. Disney was the biggest ad spender on Facebook during that period. a
It joins national brands including Unilever PLC, Starbucks Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Verizon, as well as many smaller marketers, in boycotting the social media giant for its policies regarding hate speech and misinformation on its platforms.
Disney didn’t release a statement.
Facebook responded with the following: “We know we have more work to do,” Facebook said in a statement, adding that it would work with civil-rights groups, a leading ad trade group and other experts “to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight.”
Facebook said it has banned more than 250 white supremacist groups from using its platforms and that it has invested billions of dollars keeping its platforms safe.
In recent meetings with Facebook executives, civil rights groups have expressed disappointment in what they see as a lack of commitment from Facebook to better keep its platforms from being exploited.
And for its part, Facebook is pretty insulated from boycotts generating $70 billion in annual revenue from more than 8 million advertisers.
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