Fake news : Unilever threatens Facebook and Google to boycott advertising


One of the largest advertising budgets in the world threat to the Internet giants to boycott. Unilever, the empire of consumer goods, announced that it would “to remove its ads, digital platforms, accusing them of having become a ‘swamp’ of fake news, racism, sexism, and extremism”, reports CNN.

“We can’t continue to support a supply chain of content, where the transparency is as good as in a swamp”, will announce the sales director of Unilever’s Keith Weed on 13 February at a conference on advertising in California, including the speech was leaked to the media. And : “It is in the interest of digital media to hear this and act.”

advertising revenues are crucial for Facebook and Google

This warning in the direction of Google and Facebook have anything to worry about the giants of the Internet, explains the site : Unilever, which owns, among other brands Dove, Lipton, Ben and & Jerry’s, has a marketing budget annual 8 billion euros. Nearly 25 % of this windfall financial are invested in the market of online advertising. Google and Facebook, for their part, largely dominate this market. In 2017, they have won more than 60 per cent of spending in the sector.

But the two are regularly at the centre of criticism on the nature of the content put forward. the “Google has already been called to order by companies who had discovered that their ads were accompanied by videos to be unacceptable on the YouTube platform”, reminiscent of CNN, “while Facebook has suffered a barrage of criticism for having promoted the fake news, the bubbles of the filter, the interference in the electoral processes of other countries and the addiction to social networks.”

The message to social networks, ” explains the site The Crunch, is therefore the following : Facebook and Google have a duty of “social responsibility”, and are, therefore, required to create trust and transparency in line in order to avoid that the reputation of their advertisers won’t be harmed.

With Unilever, this is the first heavy weight of advertising, which joined the fight against material which is toxic online. Several european countries are pressing for that Facebook creates tools to prevent the dissemination of publications to be problematic. Finally, as the latest initiative, Germany has passed a law against hate-speech on social networks in early 2018.

Carolin Lohrenz

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