Facebook to ban 'wider category of hateful content' in ads

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Georgetown University in a 'Conversation on Free Expression" in Washington, DC on October 17, 2019

Facebook said Friday it would ban a "wider category of hateful conduct" in ads as the embattled social media giant moved to respond to widening protests over its handling of inflammatory posts.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg also said Facebook would add tags to posts that are "newsworthy" but violate platform rules -- following the lead of Twitter, which has used such labels on tweets from President Donald Trump.

The move comes with the leading social network facing boycott from advertisers, with Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever joining on Friday, as part of a protest by activists seeking tougher action by Facebook on content promoting discrimination and violence.

The new policy on hateful content in ads will "prohibit claims that people from a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status are a threat to the physical safety, health or survival of others," Zuckerberg said on his Facebook page.

"We're also expanding our policies to better protect immigrants, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from ads suggesting these groups are inferior or expressing contempt, dismissal or disgust directed at them."