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Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Facebook stock hits record high of $247.65 per share despite hundreds of businesses pulling advertisement as part of a boycott over 'hate speech' on the site

Facebook's stock hit a record high of $247.65 per share early Tuesday morning despite hundreds of businesses pulling advertisement as part of a boycott over hate speech on the site. 
By 5pm the social media giant's shares had dropped down to around the $240 mark.
The surge occurred on the same day Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in a lengthy Facebook post that the company has to 'get better' at removing hate speech from its platform. 
Sandberg said the social media company has made progress in removing hateful content but has a 'big responsibility' to get better. 
It marks her first public comments since company's like Coca-Cola and Starbucks, started pulling advertising last month.
Sandberg's statement came just hours before she and CEO Mark Zuckerberg met virtually with organizers of the Stop Hate For Profit boycott that is being run by leaders from the NAACP and Anti-Defamation League. 
Facebook's stock hit a record high of $247.65 per share early Tuesday morning despite hundreds of businesses pulling advertisement as part of a boycott over hate speech on the site. By 5pm the social media giant's shares had dropped down to around $240 (pictured)
Facebook's stock hit a record high of $247.65 per share early Tuesday morning despite hundreds of businesses pulling advertisement as part of a boycott over hate speech on the site. By 5pm the social media giant's shares had dropped down to around $240 (pictured)
'Facebook stands firmly against hate. Being a platform where everyone can make their voice heard is core to our mission, but that doesn't mean it's acceptable for people to spread hate. It's not,' Sandberg wrote. 
'We have clear policies against hate - and we strive constantly to get better and faster at enforcing them. We have made real progress over the years, but this work is never finished and we know what a big responsibility Facebook has to get better at finding and removing hateful content.' 
Facebook has been facing increasing pressure in recent weeks to clamp down in content that promotes racism and violence. 
More than 650 advertisers have since joined the boycott that calls for the tech giant to do more to prevent racist and hate-filled posts on its site.
Zuckerberg has previously said he will not change the company's policy based on 'a threat' to revenue but based on 'the right things' for the Facebook community.
Meanwhile in her post, Sandberg said that in addition to meeting with the boycott organizers, Facebook was also due on Wednesday to release its civil rights audit, which is a review of the company's policies that was initiated two years ago. 
'We are making changes - not for financial reasons or advertiser pressure, but because it is the right thing to do. We have worked for years to try to minimize the presence of hate on our platform. That's why we agreed to undertake the civil rights audit two years ago,' she said. 
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg says the social media giant has to 'get better' at removing hate speech from its platform in the wake of an advertiser boycott
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg says the social media giant has to 'get better' at removing hate speech from its platform in the wake of an advertiser boycott
In a lengthy Facebook post on Tuesday, Sandberg said the social media company has made progress in removing hateful content but has a 'big responsibility' to get better
In a lengthy Facebook post on Tuesday, Sandberg said the social media company has made progress in removing hateful content but has a 'big responsibility' to get better
'Over many years, we've spent billions of dollars on teams and technology to find and remove hate - as well as protect the integrity of our platform more generally - and have become a pioneer in using artificial intelligence technology to remove hateful content at scale. 
'We are working hard every day to enforce our policies with ever greater precision and speed. 
'We are never going to be perfect, but we care about this deeply. We will continue to listen and learn and work in the weeks, months and years ahead.'
Sandberg's comments come a week after Zuckerberg told Facebook employees that the company was 'not gonna change' its policies on 'hate speech' - despite the company's share price dropping $60billion and more than $7billion being wiped from his personal wealth. 
'We're not gonna change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small per cent of our revenue, or to any percent of our revenue,' said Zuckerberg, according to The Information.
'My guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.'  
Sandberg's statement came just hours before she and CEO Mark Zuckerberg were scheduled to meet virtually with organizers of the Stop Hate For Profit boycott that is being run by leaders from the NAACP and Anti-Defamation League
Sandberg's statement came just hours before she and CEO Mark Zuckerberg were scheduled to meet virtually with organizers of the Stop Hate For Profit boycott that is being run by leaders from the NAACP and Anti-Defamation League

Coca-Cola, Ford, Starbucks, Verizon, Adidas, Dunkin Donuts, LEGO, Consumer Reports, Target, Best Buy and Clorox are among those who have joined the boycott. 
The boycott was started by civil-rights groups including the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League and Color of Change on June 17. 
In response to the boycott, a Facebook spokeswoman said last week that the company invests billions each year to ensure safety and continuously works with outside experts to review and update its policies.
The company has banned 250 white supremacist organizations from Facebook and Instagram, she said, adding that the company’s substantial investment artificial intelligence technology allows Facebook to find nearly 90 per cent of hate speech before users report it.
‘We know we have more work to do, and we’ll continue to work with civil rights groups, GARM, and other experts to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight,’ the spokesperson said.

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