Facebook Stock Plunges After Advertisers Run for the Hills

Facebook lost a whopping $56 billion in market value on Friday as advertisers ran for the hills. Facebook watched as its stock priced dipped by eight percent which will have dropped the price from $235 a share to $212.50 when the market opens on Monday. Bloomberg not only confirmed the $56 Billion loss but it also reported that Zuckerberg personally lost $7.2 billion of his own estimated net worth.

The big plummet seems to have been caused by advertisers Coca-Cola and Unilever pulling their ads from the platform. The two giants have decided to join others in boycotting Facebook for refusing to hold figures like President Trump accountable for their rhetoric. Unilever released a statement on Friday saying, ¬†“We have decided that starting now through at least the end of the year, we will not run brand advertising in social media newsfeed platforms Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in the U.S.” They added, “Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society.”

Coca-Cola’s CEO James Quincey stated that his company would not advertise on social media for 30 days and his firm “expected greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners.” The two giants are joining others in the “Stop Hate For Profit” movement led by groups like the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, and Sleeping Giants. ¬†Verizon, Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and the car manufacturer Honda has also joined the Facebook ad boycott.

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is responding to the boycott with a set of new rules designed to combat hate speech and voter suppression. He said in a post yesterday, “We already restrict certain types of content in ads that we allow in regular posts, but we want to do more to prohibit the kind of divisive and inflammatory language that has been used to sow discord. So today we’re prohibiting a wider category of hateful content in ads.”

Zuckerberg also said that controversial speech by politicians will be labeled, but taken down if it is violent or suppresses voting. He said, “There is no newsworthiness exemption to content that incites violence or suppresses voting. Even if a politician or government official says it, if we determine that content may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote, we will take that content down.”

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