Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will do more to tackle hate speech as a growing number of firms pull their ads from the social media platform.
The Facebook CEO said on Friday (local time) that the company wanted to do more to prohibit “divisive and inflammatory language that has been used to sow discord”.
Mr Zuckerberg said the company will also be expanding its policies to better protect immigrants, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from adverts suggesting they are inferior or which express contempt at them.
“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.
“Specifically, we’re expanding our ads policy to prohibit claims that people from a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status are a threat to the physical safety, health or survival of others.
“We’re also expanding our policies to better protect immigrants, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from ads suggesting these groups are inferior or expressing contempt, dismissal or disgust directed at them.”
In Australia, the media watchdog has called on social media giants, including Facebook, to crack down on the proliferation of fake news on their platforms.
Mr Zueckerberg’s comments came as consumer goods giant Unilever joined a growing number of firms pulling advertising from Facebook over the platform’s failure to do more to remove hate speech.
In a statement on Friday the company, which owns ice-cream firm Ben & Jerry’s, said it was not going to advertise with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the US until at least the end of the year.
Earlier this week, The North Face, Patagonia and REI also said they had pulled advertising from Facebook.
Mr Zuckerberg was speaking at an online company town hall where he announced a range of measures to tackle hate speech and voter suppression ahead of the US elections later this year.
He said that Facebook was creating a “voting information centre” to share information about how and when people can vote which will be shown at the top of the Facebook and Instagram apps.
Other measures include quickly removing any false claims about polling conditions in the three days leading up to election day and removing any threats to intimidate voters, Mr Zuckerberg said.