Amidst advertisers announced pulling ads from social media platform Facebook, company CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced its new Facebook content moderation policies to tackle hate and misinformation effectively.
Nearly 100 companies announced that they are pulling ads from Facebook, industry big players like Verizon also announced a retraction. Even global goods consumer giant Unilever, on Friday, came out with the decision to boycott advertising on facebook.
Later on Friday, Zuckerberg announced Facebook content moderation policies on a Facebook live stream. He talked about the platform’s commitment towards freedom of expression and his stand against hate or anything which incites violence. He added that Facebook is ready to combat hate and misinformation, no matter where it comes from.
Companies announced to boycott advertising on Facebook & criticized Facebook for its failed attempt to contain the prevailing false information and racist content on the platform. The US-based civil groups started a campaign against Facebook this month called ‘Stop Hate for Profit’. Companies like Honda Motor Co. and Hershey’s joined the ad boycott campaign.
In the wake of national-wide protests in the US against racial inequality. After the killing of unarmed African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis brought few prominent civil rights groups together, like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Sleeping Giants, Free Press, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and Common Sense Media, Color of Change accused Facebook showed fewer efforts to control the racist content on its platform.
These groups urged businesses to remove ads from facebook and Instagram. “Facebook 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,” according to a statement by the civil group on the campaign website.
When prominent brands like the US ice-cream manufacture Ben & Jerry’s, movie giant Magnolia Pictures, and outdoor adventures brand Northface joined, the movement gained more attention.
Campaign organizers released a list of content moderation recommendations for Facebook to fight the online hate-mongering on the platform. Recommendations like providing more support to people who are the target of racism, antisemitism, religious discrimination, and hate; increasing safety in private groups on Facebook; also stop generating ad revenue from false and harmful information.
With giants like Unilever, Verizon, and Levis withdrawing their ads, there are hopes of other companies join the protest; the campaign is now confident that Facebook will respond to their content moderation proposal.
Facebook revenue is highly dependent on the ads shown on its platform. The annual revenue stands at $70 billion, of which 99 percent comes from advertising. After Unilever came out with its decision to pull out its ads, Facebook’s share fell by 8.3 percent.