Companies pull Facebook ads over violent content

A call to action posted on the Facebook page of Women, Action & the Media for activists to call on the social network to take down posts that promote gender-based hate speech. Action & the Media,Facebook/Women

Facebook has lost more than a dozen advertisers after a campaign drew attention to pages on the social media site that promoted violence against women.

Women, Action, and the Media launched the campaign last week to get Facebook to end hate speech on its site and urged advertisers to pull their support. The content included pages and images that had grisly photos of abuse, and mottos that encouraged rape, abuse and other violence against women.

A Twitter campaign using the hashtag #FBRape went viral this month. Some Twitter users have tweeted advertisers directly, asking them if they approve of the content that appear with their ads.

"Hello @amazon, your @facebook ads are sponsoring domestic violence images. Are you withdrawing your ads?," tweeted @schemaly.

Activists sent messages to companies like Pringles, Dove, British Airways and Nissan. The campaign elicited more than 5,000 emails to Facebook advertisers and more than 60,000 posts on Twitter. Nissan and a number of other smaller advertisers responded by pulling ads.

Facebook said Tuesday that its systems failed to work effectively to identify and remove the hate speech and will remove the content and improve its efforts.

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