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Starbucks joins growing list of companies boycotting Facebook over online hate speech

Major companies suspend social media ads
Major companies suspend social media advertising over online hate speech 02:50

Starbucks is joining a growing list of companies that plan to suspend some of their social media advertising because of online hate speech.

With a commanding 40 percent share of the American coffee-shop market, and the deep pockets to flood Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with millions in promotion, Starbucks says it's forcefully hitting the pause button on paid advertising across its social media platforms.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

The move appears to stem from the #StopHateforProfit campaign, which calls on big brands to pull ad spending from Facebook. Civil rights organizations have called for an ad boycott of Facebook (and its CEO and cofounder, Mark Zuckerberg), saying the company doesn't do enough to stop racist and violent content.

The Starbucks boycott follows similar pledges from other Fortune 500 brands like Coca-Cola and Unilever. (Click here for a list of participating businesses.)

In a statement, Starbucks announced its intention to stand against online hate-speech, saying in part: "[B]oth business leaders and policy makers need to come together to affect real change." [Starbucks did not mention the #StopHateforProfit campaign in its announcement.]

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League (one of the organizations behind Stop Hate for Profit), said, "It is time once and for all for Mark Zuckerberg and for Facebook to stand up and to take a stand against hate."

Correspondent Jericka Duncan asked, "What are you hoping this campaign will actually achieve?"

"It's long overdue for Facebook to put a real civil rights infrastructure together at the highest levels of the corporation to make sure these issues get the attention that they need," Goldblatt said.

This past Friday Facebook announced new guidelines, after the company's share-price tumbled more than 8 percent, slashing $56 billion from its value.

Zuckerberg said, "If we determine the content may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote, we're going to take that content down no matter who says it."

Goldblatt told Duncan, "The biggest brands in the world are saying they are no longer willing to subsidize stereotypes. They want to stop hate for profit."

In a statement to CBS News, Facebook said it invests billions to keep its community safe, has opened itself to a civil rights audit, and has banned white supremacist organizations.

Starbucks' social media pause will not include YouTube, as Starbucks considers it to be a video platform that does not engages with customers in the same way as other sites. 

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