What boycott? Facebook’s boss Mark Zuckerberg dismisses growing advertiser boycott of the platform over its hate speech policies
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has taken a somewhat dismissive attitude to the growing advertising boycott of the platform.
Earlier this week last minute talks between Facebook and advertisers had failed to halt the one month advertising boycott of the social networking giant by multinational firms.
The advertising boycott of Facebook has been growing rapidly. Last week US phone giant Verizon became the latest big name to join the ‘Stop Hate for Profit’ campaign, which claims Facebook is not doing enough to remove hateful content.
And the list of big name multinationals boycotting Facebook continues to grow, with over 600 well known brands pulling their advertising on the platform, including Ben and Jerry’s, Ford, Adidas, HP, Coca Cola, North Face, Unilever and Starbucks.
But despite this, Zuckerberg shows no sign of backing down.
“My guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough,” Zuckerberg was quoted by the Information news site as saying during a town hall meeting last week.
“We’re not going to change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue,” he reportedly added.
Facebook has confirmed his comments are accurate and confirmed that Zuckerberg will meet the organisers of the boycott.
The ‘Stop Hate for Profit’ campaign has been organised by a number of US civil rights groups including the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP and Color of Change.
The campaign comes on the black of the killing of George Floyd in the United States, and the subsequent protests over racism.
In order to avert the boycott, Facebook executives including Carolyn Everson, VP of global business solutions, and Neil Potts, public policy director, had held at least two meetings with advertisers on Tuesday, but the Facebook executives reportedly offered no new details on how they would tackle hate speech.
The ‘Stop Hate for Profit’ campaign has ten demands for Facebook, which includes allowing people who experience severe harassment to speak with a Facebook employee and giving refunds to brands whose ads show up next to offensive content that is later removed.
Facebook had already indicated earlier this week it would submit to an audit of its hate speech controls.
Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg had last week asked to meet with the campaign organizers along with Chief Product Officer Chris Cox.
But the civil rights groups behind the campaign have insisted that Mark Zuckerberg also attend any meeting, and on Tuesday that the company confirmed that Zuckerberg would join the proposed meeting.