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Monday, July 06, 2020

Mark Zuckerberg loses $7 billion as companies boycott Facebook ads

Mark Zuckerberg responded to the growing criticism about misinformation on Facebook, announcing the company would label all voting-related posts with a link encouraging users to look at its new voter information hub.

By: Bloomberg | Updated: June 27, 2020 11:01:59 am
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook ads, Companies withdraw Facebook ads, Facebook ads boycott, Indian Express  Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc., speaks during the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (Bloomberg Photo/File)

Mark Zuckerberg just became $7.2 billion poorer after a flurry of companies pulled advertising from Facebook Inc.’s network. Shares of the social media company fell 8.3% on Friday, the most in three months, after Unilever, one of the world’s largest advertisers, joined other brands in boycotting ads on the social network. Unilever said it would stop spending money with Facebook’s properties this year.

The share-price drop eliminated $56 billion from Facebook’s market value and pushed Zuckerberg’s net worth down to $82.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That also moved the Facebook chief executive officer down one notch to fourth place, overtaken by Louis Vuitton boss Bernard Arnault, who was elevated to one of the world’s three richest people along with Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.

Companies from Verizon Communications Inc. to Hershey Co. have also stopped social media ads after critics said that Facebook has failed to sufficiently police hate speech and disinformation on the platform. Coca-Cola Co. said it would pause all paid advertising on all social media platforms for at least 30 days.

Zuckerberg responded Friday to the growing criticism about misinformation on the site, announcing the company would label all voting-related posts with a link encouraging users to look at its new voter information hub. Facebook also expanded its definition of prohibited hate speech, adding a clause saying no adverts will be allowed if they label another demographic as dangerous.

“There are no exceptions for politicians in any of the policies I’m announcing here today,” Zuckerberg said.

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