Facebook has become the main target in an advertising boycott on how misinformation, abuse and hate speech is being handled on social media. Stop Hate for Profit, an advocacy group that started the campaign, has compiled a list of companies that will be putting a hold on their advertising on all social media platforms for the month of July. As of Wednesday July 1st, there were more than 500 companies pressuring Facebook to take a stronger stand against those issues – including the social media giant’s lenient approach to controversial posts, such as those by US President Donald Trump. It is unprecedented and triggered by the global protests against police violence and racial injustice that have been taking place – and it threatens Facebook’s $70 billion annual ad revenue.
Facebook responded and announced that a new policy ‘would follow Twitter’s lead and begin labeling questionable content’. As well, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he has agreed to meet with the movement’s organizers next week. In the meantime, Facebook’s vice-president of global affairs and communications Nick Clegg, attempted to assure companies that Facebook ‘does not benefit from hate’ and that they have ‘every incentive to remove hate speech from its service, acknowledging that ‘many of our critics are angry about the inflammatory rhetoric President Trump has posted on our platform and others, and want us to be more aggressive in removing his speech’. Nevertheless, it wasn’t enough.
List of companies pulling advertising from Facebook
Since the boycott started, Verizon, Patagonia, and Ben and Jerry’s were among the first to come on board – and last Friday a bigger blow was dealt when Unilever, one of the world’s biggest advertisers, announced it was joining the movement. Other companies like Coca-Cola and Hershey’s soon signed on, followed by Diageo that owns the Guinness, Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker drink brands. Then one of their largest advertisers, Starbucks, struck a big blow – announcing they were putting a ‘pause on all social media advertising’. Lululemon and Levi Strauss has added their names to the list, as well as Pfizer, Reebok, Hershey Company and even Sesame Street. To see the full list go to.