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Starbucks pausing all social media ads as pressure on Facebook, Twitter grows

Evie Fordham

Starbucks is pausing all ads on social media because it believes "more must be done to create welcoming and inclusive online communities," the company said on Sunday.

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"We believe in bringing communities together, both in person and online, and we stand against hate speech," Starbucks said in a statement. "We believe both business leaders and policy makers need to come together to affect real change. We will pause advertising on all social media platforms while we continue discussions internally, with our media partners and with civil rights organizations in the effort to stop the spread of hate speech."

A spokesperson for the coffeehouse chain said the decision is not part of the official #StopHateForProfit boycott organized by civil rights groups.

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Starbucks will continue with other kinds of digital ads, but declined to set a return date for its ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Starbucks spent nearly $246 million on advertising in fiscal year 2019.

Starbucks' boycott lumps in Twitter with its rival Facebook, although Twitter has been more aggressive in flagging politicians' posts, most notably President Trump's.

Meanwhile, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is losing billions in personal wealth because of companies like Verizon, Coca-Cola and, reportedly, Pepsi are suspending Facebook ads.

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