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Microsoft suspended Facebook and Instagram advertising but is not a part of the global boycott

Adam Smith
Attendees walk past the logo of US multinational technology company Microsoft during the Web Summit in Lisbon on November 6, 2019: PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP /AFP via Getty Images

Microsoft suspended its US advertising campaigns on both Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram in May, and has expanded that to a global ban.

"Based on concerns we had back in May we suspended all media spending on Facebook/Instagram in the US and we’ve subsequently suspended all spending on Facebook/Instagram worldwide," Microsoft CMO Chris Capossela told an employee via an internal Yammer post, according to a report from Axios.

Yammer is an enterprise social networking service developed by Microsoft.

It was not specified what content Microsoft objected to, but cited examples of “hate speech, pornography, terrorist content, etc.”

“The timeline on resuming our media spending is dependent on the positive actions they take, but I expect our pause will continue through August,” Capossela also reportedly said.

Microsoft has apparently been in contact with both social media platforms about what would be required for the software giant to return as an advertiser.

“Our experience tells us that the most impactful means to effect genuine, long-term change is through direct dialogue and meaningful action with our media partners, including the suspension of real marketing dollars,” Capossela wrote, according to Axios.

“We’ve also learned from experience that it doesn’t help our customers, our media partners, or Microsoft to publicize our media spend strategy, but to instead work directly with partners on positive change.”

The news comes as many advertisers are boycotting the social media company over claimed profiteering from “hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence.

However, Microsoft is seemingly not taking a stand against harmful content on Facebook’s platform, but rather does not want its brand advertised next to such content, Axios says.

The Independent has reached out to Microsoft for comment.

The software company, like many others, has been called upon by its employees to make a statement about the Black Lives Matter movement.

Some 250 Microsoft employees have signed a letter addressed to the company’s executives, CEO Satya Nadella and executive vice president Kurt DelBene, asking them to cancel Microsoft contracts with the Seattle Police Department and other law enforcement organisations and condemn the use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and flashbangs on peaceful protestors.

Google’s employees have taken similar action, with over 1600 employees signing a letter stating that they are “disappointed to know that Google is still selling to police forces, and advertises its connection with police forces as somehow progressive”.

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