The move is clearly created to either encourage Facebook and Twitter to be even more hostile to right-wing sites, or to force all news dissemination back through traditional channels, as it was before the internet made it easier for conservative voices and ideas to spread without the help of the mainstream media.
The company behind Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Dove soap and a host of other consumer products said Friday it will stop advertising on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the US through at least the end of the year because of the amount of hate speech online.
"Based on the current polarization and the election that we are having in the USA, there needs to be much more enforcement in the area of hate speech", Unilever's executive vice president of global media Luis Di Como told The Wall Street Journal.
The organisers, which include Color of Change and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, have said Facebook allows "racist, violent and verifiably false content to run rampant on its platform".
Editor's note: Facebook and Unilever are among NPR's financial supporters. That move may have prompted the parent corporation to take this stand. Unilever's Seventh Generation brand, after a hiatus of several weeks, began running several ads on Facebook platforms earlier this week.
Verizon is by far the largest company to join the movement. Unilever's other brands include Axe, Tresemme, Vaseline, Lipton, Hellmann's and Breyers.
In a livestreamed segment of the company's weekly all-hands meeting, CEO Mark Zuckerberg recapped some of the steps Facebook is already taking, and announced new measures to fight voter suppression and misinformation - although they amount to things that other social media platforms like Twitter have already enahatected and enforced in more aggressive ways.
Sarah Personette, vice-president of global client solutions at Twitter, said the company's "mission is to serve the public conversation and ensure Twitter is a place where people can make human connections, seek and receive authentic and credible information, and express themselves freely and safely".
Facebook said Friday it would ban a "wider category of hateful content" in ads as the embattled social media giant moved to respond to widening protests over its handling of inflammatory posts.
"We've opened ourselves up to a civil rights audit, and we have banned 250 white supremacist organizations from Facebook and Instagram".
"We invest billions of dollars each year to keep our community safe and continuously work with outside experts to review and update our policies", a spokesperson said.
More than 90 advertisers including Unilever's Ben & Jerry's Verizon Communications Inc and The North Face, a unit of VF Corp, have joined the campaign, according to a list by ad activism group Sleeping Giants, a partner in the campaign. "And you know often here, seeing speech from politicians is in the public interest". "We set our policies based on principles rather than business interests".