Home NEWS Science Unilever threatens to pull marketing spend from platforms failing to tackle fake news 

Unilever threatens to pull marketing spend from platforms failing to tackle fake news 

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Unilever, the world’s second largest advertiser, has threatened to pull investment from platforms that fail to tackle fake news amid a “techlash” from the public against social media giants.

The consumers goods company behind brands Lynx and Dove warned that brands “have to take the lead” in confronting the “deep systematic issue” as Facebook and Twitter attempts to grapple with a string of scandals in which their platforms have been used to spread politically-charged and misleading news reports.

Unilever says it will not invest in platforms that “create division” in society and “promote anger or hate”, arguing that “social media should build social responsibility”.

Facebook has come under fire for allowing fake news to flood users’ news feeds and Twitter has been accused of failing to confront political bots amid allegations that Russia used an army of fake accounts to sway the Brexit vote and US election in 2016. Tech giant Google is also attempting to purge search engine results of inaccurate and misleading news.

Unilever marketing boss Keith Weed will deliver his warning to tech companies at an industry convention later today. “Brands have to play their role in resolving it,” he will say. “No longer can we stand to one side or remain at arm’s length just because issues in the supply chain do not affect us directly,” warned, adding that the industry is “sleepwalking on progress”.

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