Giant marketer Unilever has issued a warning to Facebook and Google, making it clear that it wants the tech companies to police extremist and illegal content or it will pull its advertising from the sites.
Keith Weed, Unilever’s chief marketing officer, is quoted saying: “We need to redefine what is responsible business in the digital age because for all of the good the tech companies are doing, there’s some unintended consequences that now need addressing.”
Weed spoke Monday at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual leadership meeting in Palm Desert, Calif.
“Weed said tech companies were to blame for creating a ‘swamp’ in which fake news and criminal content were being circulated,” CNBC reports. “Unilever, which makes Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Dove soap, said the tech space needed to review transparency measures and improve consumer trust in an era of illegal content.”
The report adds: “Late last year, the European Commission warned the likes of Facebook, Google and Twitter that it was considering legislation if self-regulation continued to fail. And at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last month, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May urged investors to put pressure on tech companies to respond more quickly to extremist content on social networks.”
Google has since said it will dedicate more than 10,000 staff to controlling extremist content on YouTube this year, and Facebook has said it will use artificial intelligence to detect images, videos and text related to terrorism, CNBC notes.