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Coca-Cola suspends social media advertising despite Facebook changes

Coca-Cola will suspend advertising on social media globally for at least 30 days, as pressure builds on platforms to crack down on hate speech.

“There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media,” the drinks maker’s chairman and CEO James Quincey said.

He demanded “greater accountability and transparency” from social media firms.

It came after Facebook said it would label potentially harmful or misleading posts left up for their news value.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook would also ban advertising containing claims “that people of a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status” are a threat to others.

The organisers of the #StopHateforProfit campaign, which accuses Facebook of not doing enough to stop hate speech and disinformation, said the “small number of small changes” would not “make a dent in the problem”.

As a result of the boycott, shares in Facebook fell 8.3% on Friday, eliminating $56bn (£45bn) from the company’s market value and knocking $7.2bn off Mr Zuckerberg’s personal net worth, Bloomberg reported. As a result of the loss, Louis Vuitton boss Bernard Arnault replaced the Facebook founder as the world’s third richest individual.

Coca-Cola told CNBC its advertising suspension did not mean it was joining the campaign, despite being listed as a “participating business”.

Mr Quincey said the company would use the global “social media platform pause” to “reassess our advertising policies to determine whether revisions are needed”.

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