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Unilever, Honda and Coca-cola boycott Facebook

Anukul

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Unilever, Honda and Coca-cola boycott Facebook | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Verge

One of the world’s largest advertising spenders has added its name to the campaign to convince marketers to ditch Facebook. Global consumer goods company Unilever announced on Friday that it will stop advertising on Facebook and Instagram, joining a growing movement to stop spending ad dollars on social media platforms. In a post on its website, Unilever referred to its Responsibility Framework, which calls for more responsible platforms, content and infrastructure.

“Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society. We will continue to monitor and, if necessary, revisit our current position.”

Unilever joins a growing list of advertisers, including Verizon’s wireless communications service company, who are pausing their advertising spending.

Unilever is one of the largest advertisers in the world, spending about $8.2 billion on “brand and marketing investment” in 2019, according to the company’s annual report. It owns a wide range of consumer brands including Lipton tea, Dove beauty products and Axe men’s grooming products.

According to data firm Pathmatics, Unilever spent $42.3 million on Facebook in 2019 and $11.8 million as of June 25. It’s one of a number of advertisers who are pushing for new rules for social media companies as part of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media.

On Friday night, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola announced that it would “pause” its global social media advertising for the month of July.

“We will take this time to reassess our advertising standards and policies to determine whether revisions are needed internally and what more we should expect our social media partners to rid the platforms of hatred, violence and inappropriate content.”

The moves come as social justice organisations and advertising watchdogs team up to pressure companies with details on how their ads support hate speech.

Later on Friday, Honda’s US operations announced they would also stop spending on Facebook.

“For the month of July, American Honda will stop advertising on Facebook and Instagram, choosing to stand with people united against hatred and racism. This is in line with the values of our company that are grounded in human respect.”

Facebook was criticised for its decision not to take action on President Donald Trump’s statements warning that looters would be shot during the protests. While the platform has taken numerous steps in recent years to crack down on hate speech, civil rights groups remain critical of the social platform’s. role in the rise of extremism, along with the latitude it gives the president.

Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said the company is investing billions of dollars a year to keep its platform safe.

“We’ve opened up to a civil rights audit, and we’ve banned 250 white supremacist organisations from Facebook and Instagram.”

Stone also highlighted a recent European Union report that said that Facebook identified 90% of hate speech before it was reported, and acted faster than Twitter or YouTube.

In recent years, Facebook has been under pressure from advertisers to moderate its platform, but these efforts have failed to make much of a difference. Now, Unilever could end up influencing other companies to ditch Facebook, opening the door to a real impact on Facebook’s business, according to Nicole Perrin, Senior Analyst for Digital Marketing eMarketer.

“Unilever’s statement cites ‘divisiveness’ as well as hate speech. This suggests a deeper problem with user-generated content platforms, as divisiveness is expected on any platform that allows political expression.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke to advertisers this week to calm down the storm of protest about how the company handles both political ads and the spread of hate speech and false information across the board.

Facebook’s stock was down 7% on Friday, though it had declined all day along with a broader U.S. stock market decline.

Unilever also stated in a separate statement on its website that it would remove the words “fair & lovely” from a brand of skin whitening products sold in India as part of the evolution of beauty definitions.

Read More: Unilever drops “fair” from skin lightening cream’s branding

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My name is Anukul, I a writer for the Thaiger, I specialise in translation articles and social media, and assisting with our video production. I previously worked at Phuket Gazette and attended BIS international school in Phuket.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Japan asks China to stop anal Covid-19 tests after travellers report “psychological distress”

Caitlin Ashworth

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Japan asks China to stop anal Covid-19 tests after travellers report “psychological distress” | The Thaiger

After complaints that China’s anal swab Covid-19 test caused “psychological distress,” Japan has asked China to stop using the new, much more invasive method of testing on Japanese citizens entering the country.

For the anal test, reportedly done on some travellers entering China from overseas, a 3 to 5 centimetre long cotton swab is inserted into the anus and gently rotated to collect the sample. While it’s unclear exactly how many people have gone through the procedure, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato says some Japanese citizens have reported mental discomfort after the test.

“Some Japanese reported to our embassy in China that they received anal swab tests, which caused great psychological pain.”

The Japanese government made a request through the embassy in Beijing to stop using the anal swab test on Japanese citizens. Katsunobu says China has not yet responded to the request.

China started using the anal swab test in January. The anal tests are controversial with many experts backing the oral test as the most efficient way to detect a coronavirus infection.

SOURCE: BBC

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Survey shows growing acceptance of Covid-19 vaccines in some countries

Maya Taylor

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Survey shows growing acceptance of Covid-19 vaccines in some countries | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Pixabay

A survey of 6 countries shows that the number of people willing to be vaccinated against Covid-19 is on the rise. The poll, conducted by the international consultancy KekstCNC, indicates that the number of people willing to be vaccinated has risen since last year. The countries that took part were the US, the UK, France, Germany, Japan, and Sweden, with all reporting a similar trend.

The highest percentage in favour of vaccination was in the UK, where mass vaccination is well underway. 89% of those surveyed say they’re in favour of being vaccinated, an increase on December’s figure of 70%.

Sweden’s percentage of those in favour of vaccination rose to 76%, from 53% in December. In the US, it was 64%, up from December’s 58%, in Germany, 73% favour vaccination, up from 63%, and in Japan, the percentage is 64%, up from 50% in December.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the numbers were lowest in vaccine-sceptical France, with 59% in favour of the vaccine. However, this is a significant rise from December’s 40%.

In some countries, people were critical of the vaccine rollout, but 76% of people in the UK feel the government has done well. In the US, only 32% are happy with the vaccine rollout, in Germany and Japan it’s 28%, 22% in France and just 20% in Sweden. Both the UK and Israel are seen as having the most success with the rollout of their vaccine programmes.

Covid-19 has now killed 2,543,285 people and infected 114,686,933 around the world since the start of the pandemic in December 2019. The US has recorded the highest number of deaths, at 525,776.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Politics

Japan may stop assistance projects to Myanmar in response to coup

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Japan may stop assistance projects to Myanmar in response to coup | The Thaiger

Japan may stop assistance projects to Myanmar in response to the military coup, which has received major international backlash. As a major donor to Myanmar, Japan joins other advanced nations in condemning the coup which has seen security forces using violence against peaceful protesters.

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi was quoted as saying in a phone call that “Japan will strongly urge the Myanmar military to release Suu Kyi and other detained individuals, and to swiftly restore democratic government.”

But it may not impose sanctions like the rest of the other developed countries as its longtime ties with the armed forces, ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy and investment promoting policy in the country may serve as a barrier in doing so. Britan and the United States have imposed sanctions in recent days which include the US freezing military funds.

A Japanese Foreign Ministry official says stopping its support of building projects would give China a chance to move in, increasing its clout in Myanmar. Around 450 Japanese companies operate in Myanmar with Japan being the 5th largest investor in the Southeast nation. Singapore has the most companies, followed by China, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

The Foreign Ministry says Japan spent about US $1.8 billion in official development assistance in the fiscal year of 2019, making it the largest among the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. But it is unknown what China has poured into it as it has refused to disclose its expenditures.

The Japanese government plans to continue coronavirus emergency assistance to Myanmar through international organisations and non-governmental organisations. The World Bank, however, has stopped payments to projects in the nation indefinitely, after the coup on February 1, which disrupted the democratic elections last November and saw the arrest of top leaders including Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party, the National League for Democracy, won the elections in a landslide victory.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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