Wednesday 15 July 2020

Dutch brands talk to Facebook about hate speech, but none have yet pulled ads

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Dutch Association of Advertisers, which includes Jumbo, ING, Bol.com and Procter & Gamble, is to hold talks with Facebook about the company’s response to combating racism and hate speech across its platforms.

Worldwide, some 160 companies have said they will not advertise on Facebook for at least the month of July. Their number includes Unilever, which said on Friday it would not advertise on Facebook in the US because of the ‘polarised atmosphere’ there.

In the Netherlands, the BvA is now calling on Facebook to take a tougher line on hate speech. ‘If you see what platforms are earning, then more intensive moderation should be part of their service provision,’ director Henriette van Swinderen said.

‘We believe it is possible to increase the control of social media content without threatening freedom of speech,’ the organisation said on its website. ‘This is the responsibility of the platforms, together with the entire communications industry.’

No Dutch brands have yet said they will stop advertising on Facebook, although Bol.com is discussing the issue internally, the Financieele Dagblad reported.

Telecom group KPN said it is monitoring closely what sort of messaging its adverts appear next to. ‘If they do not fit with us, or our clients, then we will take action,’ a spokesman told the paper.

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