From the BBC

Ben and Jerry’s has joined a growing list of firms pulling advertising from Facebook platforms throughout July.

It’s part of the Stop Hate For Profit campaign, which calls on Facebook to have stricter measures against racist and hateful content.

Ben and Jerry’s Tweeted that it “will pause all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the US”.

Facebook has said it is committed to “advancing equity and racial justice”.

Earlier this week outdoor brands The North Face, Patagonia and REI joined the campaign.

Ben and Jerry’s said it is standing with the campaign and “all those calling for Facebook to take stronger action to stop its platforms from being used to divide our nation, suppress voters, foment and fan the flames of racism and violence, and undermine our democracy.”Skip Twitter post by @benandjerrysBen & Jerry’s@benandjerrys

We will pause all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the US in support of the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Facebook, Inc. must take the clear and unequivocal actions to stop its platform from being used to spread and amplify racism and hate. >>>https://benjerrys.co/2CtB2WE 

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End of Twitter post by @benandjerrys

After George Floyd’s death in police custody, Ben and Jerry’s chief executive Matthew McCarthy said “business should be held accountable” as he set out plans to increase diversity.

George Floyd died in Minneapolis in May as a white police officer held a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The final moments were filmed on phones. Four police officers involved have been sacked and charged over his death.

Earlier this week the freelance job listing platform Upwork and the open-source software developer Mozilla also joined the campaign.

“We’re taking steps to review our policies, ensure diversity and transparency when making decisions on how we apply our policies, and advance racial justice and voter engagement on our platform,” Facebook said on Sunday.

The statement also pointed to the company’s Community Standards, which include the recognition of the platform’s importance as a “place where people feel empowered to communicate, and we take seriously our role in keeping abuse off our service”.

A European Commission report this month found Facebook removed 86% of hate speech last year, up from 82.6%.

The social network, says almost all of the content which violates its policies is automatically detected by its systems and removed before it is reported. 

Stop Hate for Profit

The Stop Hate for Profit campaign was launched last week by advocacy groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Color Of Change.

The movement has said it is a “response to Facebook’s long history of allowing racist, violent and verifiably false content to run rampant on its platform”.

Stop Hate for Profit has called on advertisers to pressure the company to adopt stricter measures against racist and hateful content on its platforms by stopping all spending on advertising with it throughout July.

Last year the social network attracted advertising revenue of almost $70bn (£56bn).

Facebook, and its chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, have often been criticised for the handling of controversial subjects.

This month the company’s staff spoke out against the tech giant’s decision not to remove or flag a post by US President Donald Trump.

The same message was shared on Twitter, where it was hidden behind a warning label on the grounds that it “glorified violence”.

Unilever, the parent company of Ben and Jerry’s, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the BBC.

From Bloomberg Technology

Hi all, it’s Eric. On Friday, clothing brand North Face signed onto an advertiser boycott of Facebook Inc., joining civil rights groups’ calls for the company to crack down on hate speech. The Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP and other groups charged that the social media company’s permissive stance fueled racism that endangered Black people, and demanded more intervention. So far, much of that work has fallen to a small army of content moderators, several of whom say they have contracted post-traumatic stress disorder on the job.

There’s been great reporting on the poor conditions endured by these workers, who are often employed by contract firms, and receive low wages and few benefits. Facebook in particular has taken a reputational hit for the way its moderators are treated. Then again, tech companies like Reddit Inc. and Nextdoor.com Inc. don’t pay their moderators anything at all. Instead, they rely on thousands of volunteers, who subject themselves to similar stresses, apparently due to their own sense of communitarianism.

I recently wrote a story about Reddit in particular, where moderators are now pushing back against violent imagery, endemic racism and misogyny on the platform. One Reddit moderator coded a computer program to help protect users from harassment. Another, a retired schoolteacher in her late 60s whose son initially turned her onto the site, now fills her day moderating dozens of subreddits—the company’s term for individual message boards—with tens of millions of total members. “I still don’t know why I do this at the end of the day. I never have been able to tell myself the exact reason,” said Therese Singer, the former English teacher. She asked to be identified by her maiden name because she feared retaliation online.

There’s certainly more satisfaction to be had shaping a Reddit community or your neighborhood Nextdoor page than applying Facebook’s content policies to the disconnected posts of strangers. But it has always been common for Reddit moderators to get exhausted and quit. Now, many of them are demanding the company better protect them and other users by implementing a policy banning hate speech and cracking down on corners of the site dedicated to prejudice or abuse. Absent from the list of demands of the group, which calls itself r/AgainstHateSubreddits, is to be paid for their labor.

Singer said she’d like to be paid but just doesn’t think it’d ever happen. Another moderator involved in the protest, TheYellowRose, saw good reason not to turn the activity into a job. “I don’t want to be a Reddit employee because that then means I have to follow their rules,” said TheYellowRose, who asked to be identified by her screen name because she is already the target of regular online abuse. “I reserve the right to cuss out any racist that comes in my inbox.”

Unlike Facebook moderators, both Reddit and Nextdoor volunteers feel a sense of ownership over their communities, which can aggravate tensions. At Nextdoor, some of the site’s moderators filtered out Black Lives Matter posts over the last month, citing restrictions on posts that solicit donations or violate other guidelines. This led to criticism about the censorious nature of Nextdoor’s restrictive content guidelines. Then, when Nextdoor endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement, some of its volunteer moderators were upset that they had been essentially swept up into a cause they didn’t support.  

There is a middle ground between paid and volunteer approaches: Site administrators and community managers can help make moderators’ tasks more manageable and make sure their feedback is getting implemented. In their call to action, Reddit’s r/AgainstHateSubreddit (co-signed by moderators in more than 800 communities) asks the company to hire more community managers. Reddit gets the benefit of free labor. The company should be able to hire enough employees so that moderators don’t feel the need to mount another rebellion. —Eric Newcomer