John Berman of CNN pointed out the exceeding number of companies joining in on the ad boycott against Facebook. The advertisers are boycotting the social media giant over its inaction against hate speech and violent rhetoric. The anger towards Facebook was sparked when CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke out against Twitter’s decision to place disclaimers on problematic tweets by President Trump. One such tweet called for violence against protesters.
Berman pointed out that Target and Mass Mutual have also joined the boycott. Abby Phillip had more. She said, “Yeah, John, this is a big issue for Facebook for quite some time now but it seems that the moment has finally come for them to face this kind of pressure.” She continued, “I think the combination of the Black Lives Matter movement has pushed in advertisers to say that the company needs to do more and they have announced some new changes, but that has not stopped this avalanche of corporations, Fortune 500 companies from pulling their ads beginning today.”
Abby had more to say. She said, “The world’s largest social media company now under unprecedented pressure from the advertisers to do more to stop hate speech online. Dozens of companies pausing advertising on Facebook in protest. The debate touching the highest office in the land with Facebook continuing under fire for leaving up the recent posts where President Trump threatened looters with shooting and spreading false claims and misinformation about mail-in voting.”
Rashad Robinson is a member of Color of Change which is one of the civil rights groups responsible for the boycott. He implied the situation for all. He said, Do you want your ads showing up next to white nationalists organizations? Do you feel comfortable having your ads next to theirs and putting on messages about why black lives matter?
Phillip continued, “Civil rights advocates are pushing Facebook to do more, including removing content and groups that promote hate and disinformation. allowing outside audits of the content and advertising policy and giving advertisers refunds if their ads run alongside content that was removed because it violated the company’s policies. With more than 98% of all of Facebook’s revenue coming from advertising, the pressure on Facebook’s bottom line is only growing.”
Facebook put out a statement that reads, “At Facebook, we have absolutely no incentive to tolerate hate speech. We don’t like it, our users don’t like it, advertisers understandably don’t like it.” It continues, “If we determine the content may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote, we’re going to take that content down no matter who says it. Similarly, there are no exceptions for politicians.”
Abby Phillip points out the criticism against Zuckerberg. “Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who’s been criticized for appearing to be too close to President Trump and his campaign saying publicly that the company will put in place new policies to flag, label and even remove content that violates its rules, including from the president,” Phillip says. She concludes saying, “Activists say Facebook is acting out of fear, worried that President Trump will attempt to regulate social media companies he claims are targeting conservatives online.”
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Travis Earle is a veteran of the United States Navy and a resident of Memphis, Tennessee. He serves as a politics writer for Hill Reporter. Travis@HillReporter.com