Facebook is changing a number of policies relating to hate speech and voter suppression on the platform, the chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg, said in a surprise live video on Friday.
The announcements were made in a hurried appearance by the executive on his personal Facebook page shortly after Unilever announced that it was pulling advertisements for the next six months – which sent Facebook stock tumbling more than 7%.
More than 100 brands have joined a boycott of advertising on Facebook due to its failure to address hate speech and violence on the platform – most recently the major advertisers Verizon and Unilever.
Facebook will now take on an approach similar to that of Twitter, labeling posts that may violate its policies but are allowed to remain on the platform because they are deemed newsworthy.
The platform will also include a link to its voting information center on any post with information about voting, including by politicians: “This is not a judgement of whether the posts themselves are accurate,” Zuckerberg said.
I’m sure they’ll backslide, and it’s a pathetic little concession, but it ain’t nothing. I’m also enjoying the pants pissing atmospherics of the rushed announcement — it sure looks like Zuck thought he could ride this one out, until he couldn’t.