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Zuckerberg reluctant to change Facebook policies over ad boycott, report says

The Facebook CEO reportedly told employees he expects advertisers to return "soon enough."

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Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly reluctant to change the social network's policies amid a growing ad boycott. During a video town hall meeting last Friday, Zuckerberg told employees that he expects "all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough," according to a transcript obtained by from The Information.

Last month, a group of civil rights organizations including the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP and Color of Change called on businesses to "hit pause on hate" and not advertise on Facebook for the month of July. The groups are pushing Facebook to do more to combat hate speech on the platform. 

The campaign has picked up speed with major brands including UnileverVerizon, Sony, Target, Ford and Microsoft joining the boycott. As of July 1, more than 500 businesses and organizations had reportedly said they were pausing advertising on Facebook. 

Facebook executives have reportedly been meeting with advertisers, and Zuckerberg is planning to talk to organizers of the boycott, according to Reuters. 

However, Zuckerberg told employees last Friday that the boycott is more of a reputation and partner issue than an economic one. "We're not gonna change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue, or to any percent of our revenue," Zuckerberg said. 

Facebook says it take matters related to hate speech seriously and respects feedback from partners. 

"We're making real progress keeping hate speech off our platform, and we don't benefit from this kind of content," said a Facebook spokesperson on Thursday. "But as we've said, we make policy changes based on principles, not revenue pressures."