The #StopHateForProfit Campaign Forces Zuckerberg to Change Facebook Policies
After over a decade of begging Facebook to do something about their hate speech problem, advocacy groups are hitting Mark Zuckerberg where it hurts: his wallet. The campaign Stop Hate for Profit
is a joint collaboration between the Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, Sleeping Giants, the NAACP, Free Press and Common Sense that launched an advertising boycott of the social media giant for the month of July.
Their mission statement reads,
“They allowed incitement to violence against protesters fighting for racial justice in America in the wake of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks and so many others.
They named Breitbart News a “trusted news source” and made The Daily Caller a “fact checker” despite both publications having records of working with known white nationalists.
They turned a blind eye to blatant voter suppression on their platform.
Could they protect and support Black users? Could they call out Holocaust denial as hate? Could they help get out the vote?
They absolutely could. But they are actively choosing not to do so.
99% of Facebook’s $70 billion is made through advertising.
Who will advertisers stand with?
Let’s send Facebook a powerful message: Your profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence.
Please join us.”
NAACP CEO Derrick Johnson released a statement
saying, “It is clear that Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, are no longer simply negligent, but in fact, complacent in the spread of misinformation, despite the irreversible damage to our democracy. Such actions will upend the integrity of our elections as we head into 2020.”
Since the boycott launched, over 133 advertisers, including high profile brands and companies have joined the fight, such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, The North Face, Ben & Jerry’s, REI, Patagonia, Hershey’s, Honda, Levi Strauss, Verizon and many more.
As a result, Facebook’s stock dropped
more than 8%, a roughly $50 billion devaluation. In response, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has published a length Facebook post detailing plans to revise their code of conduct. Chief among them will be a new rule to flag “newsworthy” posts from politicians that violate their rules, including those from President Trump.
Zuckerberg writes in his post, “To clarify one point: there is no newsworthiness exemption to content that incites violence or suppresses voting. Even if a politician or government official says it, if we determine that content may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote, we will take that content down. Similarly, there are no exceptions for politicians in any of the policies I’m announcing here today.”
While Facebook still has a long way
to go towards de-platforming hate, this is a step in the right direction. Zuckerberg has increasingly been criticized for his lack of lack of action, in light of Twitter’s move
to amend misleading statements from Trump. Earlier this month Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout
Are we seeing the growth of a conscience in social media? Fingers crossed.
(via AP News
, image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
In the face of a massive advertiser boycott over the company’s alleged failure to stop the spread of “hate speech,” social media giant Facebook said it’s making a renewed effort to weed out “offensive” speech – i.e., anything progressives don’t like – on its platform.
The pledge comes after a long (and still growing) list of largely left-leaning companies - including Coca-Cola, Ben & Jerry’s, Starbucks, Patagonia, Hershey’s, Honda and Verizon - pulled their ads from the social media site to demand the company crack down on alleged “hate speech” targeting minorities and immigrants.
After joining the #StopHateForProfit boycott, Starbucks, the sixth-largest advertiser on Facebook, said in statement, “We believe more must be done to create welcoming and inclusive online communities, and we believe both business leaders and policy makers need to come together to affect real change."
) Vice President for Public Affairs Nick Clegg told CNN’s Brian Stelter Sunday
that the company will “redouble” their efforts to stop “hate speech” on their platform, focusing on ads that attack minorities, immigrants, and asylum seekers, and painting those groups as “threats.”
"Unfortunately, zero tolerance doesn't mean zero occurrence," Clegg said. "That's why we constantly need to improve, implementing our policies, enforcing them so that we can seek out what, thankfully, is still a very small minority, but damaging minority, of content on the platform to make people feel safe and for people to continue to enjoy the positive useful experience that people come onto Facebook for in the first place."
"We will continue what we think is the only sense of the way forward, to have clear rules, to bear down aggressively on hate speech in particular," Clegg said. "We understand that it's a very fraught intense time in the nation, and we will continue to demonstrate our sincerity dealing with this problem with the responsibility that we clearly do bear."
Facebook, along with other social media platforms including Twitter and YouTube, have come under fire from conservative organizations and media outlets for using their "anti-hate speech" rules to target right-leaning content they simply don't agree with under the guise of cracking down on offensive or violent speech.
Facebook lost $56 billion in market cap Friday afternoon
This Facebook thing has legs. Large advertisers around the country began pausing their campaigns on social media platforms to demonstrate their dislike of being associated with some of the racist content that sometimes goes unmoderated, and over the weekend, the list of advertisers went global. Now it’s Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Unilever, Levi-Strauss, Upwork, Verizon, Hershey’s, Beam Suntory, Honda and others. They won’t be the last wave.Facebook took a $56 billion market cap hit on Friday afternoon, from $670 to $614 billion. That’s a giant number. Only Apple has seen bigger one-day market cap losses, and those took place at the height of the pandemic crash.That big red candle, combined with the gap lower this morning, bring’s Facebook’s 3-year return down to just 37%, or about half of the Nasdaq 100’s return over the same time frame (74%).Facebook will have to make changes to its content moderation policies – changes that are sure to draw the ire of political conservatives, who will feel that this increased moderation deliberately and unfairly targets their messages. And that’s when the Justice Department wades in. And even as the company risks political pressure, it’s not clear how many of these advertisers they’ll be able to get back. As effective as the FB / Instagram combo is (and it is very effective), advertisers are under more pressure than ever (again, thanks to social media) to align their marketing dollars with what they say their values are.
It’s not going to be a fun summer in Menlo Park.