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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  Unilever PLC    ULVR   GB00B10RZP78

UNILEVER PLC

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Advertisers agree deal with social media on steps to curb harmful content

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09/23/2020 | 07:00am EDT

LONDON, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have agreed with big advertisers on first steps to curb harmful content online, following boycotts of social media platforms that advertisers had accused of tolerating hate speech.

The agreement comes three months after Facebook was hit by a boycott from major advertisers in the wake of anti-racism demonstrations that followed the death of George Floyd, an American Black man, in police custody.

Advertisers have complained for years that big social media companies do too little to prevent ads from appearing alongside hate speech, fake news and other harmful content. Big tech companies, meanwhile, want to be seen as taking action on the issue to fend off calls for more regulation.

Under the deal, announced on Wednesday by the World Federation of Advertisers, common definitions would be adopted for forms of harmful content such as hate speech and bullying, and platforms would adopt harmonised reporting standards.

The platforms agreed to have some practices reviewed by external auditors, and to give advertisers more control of what content is displayed alongside their ads. The deal comes less than six weeks before a polarising U.S. presidential election.

"This is a significant milestone in the journey to rebuild trust online," said Luis Di Como, executive vice president of global media at Unilever , one of the world's biggest advertisers. "...Whilst change doesn't happen overnight, today marks an important step in the right direction."

Carolyn Everson, Vice President for Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook, said the agreement "has aligned the industry on the brand safety floor and suitability framework, giving us all a unified language to move forward on the fight against hate online."

SCEPTICAL

Campaigners who want more regulation of social media companies have been sceptical of voluntary measures such as those announced on Wednesday.

"Any progress in reducing harmful online content is to be welcomed. However, up to now voluntary action from social media companies has rarely lived up to its initial promises. So time will tell how much of a difference this latest industry-led initiative will make," David Babbs of UK-based group Clean Up the Internet told Reuters by email.

The Stop Hate for Profit campaign behind the Facebook boycott is backed by the Anti-Defamation League and NAACP, two of the oldest and biggest anti-racism campaign groups in the United States. The campaign did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

In a statement last week, it said: "Facebook’s failures lead to real-life violence and sow division, and we’re calling on the company to improve its policies. We need to urge people to vote and demand Facebook stop undermining our democracy. Enough is enough."

(Reporting by Martinne Geller Editing by Peter Graff)


Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALPHABET INC. -2.98% 1584.29 Delayed Quote.18.28%
FACEBOOK INC -2.70% 277.11 Delayed Quote.35.01%
UNILEVER N.V. -0.20% 50.48 Delayed Quote.-1.23%
UNILEVER PLC -0.06% 4642 Delayed Quote.6.79%
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Sales 2020 50 793 M 59 978 M 59 978 M
Net income 2020 5 914 M 6 983 M 6 983 M
Net Debt 2020 22 511 M 26 581 M 26 581 M
P/E ratio 2020 22,7x
Yield 2020 3,19%
Capitalization 133 B 157 B 157 B
EV / Sales 2020 3,06x
EV / Sales 2021 3,00x
Nbr of Employees 149 867
Free-Float 55,7%
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Number of Analysts 25
Average target price 54,12 €
Last Close Price 50,60 €
Spread / Highest target 24,5%
Spread / Average Target 6,95%
Spread / Lowest Target -20,9%
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NameTitle
Alan Jope Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Nils Smedegaard Andersen Chairman
Nitin Paranjpe Chief Operating Officer
Graeme David Pitkethly Chief Financial Officer & Executive Director
Richard Slater Chief Research & Development Officer
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