Disney+ Reportedly Cuts Facebook Ad Spending Due to Poor Handling of Hate Speech

Disney is the latest in a growing list of businesses to pull at least some advertising from Facebook. Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported the House of Mouse is pulling all advertising from the social media provider for two of it's largest products in Disney+ and Hulu. In the first half of the year, Disney was the biggest spender on the platform, spending upwards of $210 million in advertising.

The boycott — which the Journal says is causing Disney to "dramatically" slash all remaining ad spending — is part of the #StopHateForProfitCampaign, a movement aiming to boycott businesses that continue to provide platforms to those who spread hate speech. To date, other companies who have boycotted Facebook by pulling advertising include Acura, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Starbucks, Target, Unilever, and Verizon.

A spokeswoman for Facebook tells Variety the company earmarks billions of dollars each year to develop technology to help stop the spread of hate speech. “We invest billions of dollars each year to keep our community safe and continuously work with outside experts to review and update our policies," the company says. "We know we have more work to do, and we’ll continue to work with civil rights groups, GARM [the Global Alliance for Responsible Media coalition], and other experts to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight.”

Earlier this month, Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg penned a lengthy statement reiterating the company's policies against hate speech, doubling-down on the fact she and her team will continue to invest money combating it.

"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," Sandberg said in a blog post on July 7th. "That’s why we agreed to undertake the civil rights audit two years ago. 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."

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She concluded, "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."

Cover photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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