Facebook Inc on Friday said it would start labeling newsworthy content that violated the social media company's policies, and label all posts and ads about voting with links to authoritative information, including those from politicians.
A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed its new policy would have meant attaching a link on voting information to US President Donald Trump's post last month about mail-in ballots. Rival Twitter had affixed a fact-checking label to that post.
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a live-streamed company townhall that the social media giant would also ban ads that claimed people from groups based on race, religion, sexual orientation or immigration status were a threat to physical safety or health.
The policy changes come during a growing ad boycott campaign, called "Stop Hate for Profit," that was started by several U.S. civil rights groups after the death of George Floyd, to pressure the company to act on hate speech and misinformation.
Zuckerberg's address fell short, said Rashad Robinson, president of civil rights group Color Of Change, which is one of the groups behind the boycott campaign.
The policy changes come during a growing ad boycott campaign, called "Stop Hate for Profit."
"What we've seen in today's address from Mark Zuckerberg is a failure to wrestle with the harms FB has caused on our democracy & civil rights," Robinson tweeted. "If this is the response he's giving to major advertisers withdrawing millions of dollars from the company, we can't trust his leadership."
Shares of Facebook closed 8.3% lower, and Twitter's fell 7.3% after Unilever PLC said it would stop its U.S. ads on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the rest of the year, citing "divisiveness and hate speech during this polarized election period in the U.S."
More than 90 advertisers including Japanese carmaker Honda Motor Co Ltd's <7267.T> U.S. subsidiary, 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.
The campaign specifically asks businesses not to advertise on Facebook's platforms in July, though Twitter has also long been urged to clean up alleged abuses and misinformation on its platform.
"We have developed policies and platform capabilities designed to protect and serve the public conversation, and as always, are committed to amplifying voices from under-represented communities and marginalized groups," said Sarah Personette, vice president for Twitter's Global Client Solutions.
Facebook is also banning false claims intended to discourage voting, such as stories about federal agents checking legal status at polling places.
The company also said it is increasing its enforcement capacity to remove false claims about local polling conditions in the 72 hours before the US election.