Facebook has been subjected to great pressure from BIG brands following a major criticism for its inaction over hate speech on its site
over the last couple of days, the tech giant has faced a major criticism following an incendiary statement on the platform by the US President, Donald Trump; and while many expected that it should be flag false, nothing was done, consequently leading to a massive ads boycott on the platform.
The above also builds on the fact that Facebook has failed to join in the “Black Live Matter” movement- a campaign that’s has gained international recognition following the death of George Floyd, a black American which was assaulted and ‘accidentally’ murdered while he was been arrested by a group of Minneapolis Police officers.
The campaign against police brutality and racial discrimination was largely supported by Top dogs in the commercial industry, although, Facebook has rather failed to join the movement, instead it has been seen policing hate speech around the campaign.
The past few days have seen the coalition of some of America’s biggest brands alongside others including The North Face, Ben & Jerry’s and Patagonia, Unilever, Pepsi Co, CocaCola, Honda among several others, who committed to pulling advertising from the platform in a row in an attempt to boycott advertising on the platform.
While this is by far the biggest Facebook Ads boycott ever, the platform was forced to make urgent adjustments to its policy as the brand protest heats up; Similar to Twitter’s policy, Facebook will start labeling posts that may violate its policies but are “allowed to remain on the platform because they are deemed newsworthy.”
Additionally, the platform will also include a link to its voting information center on any post with information about voting, including by politicians: “This is not a judgment of whether the posts themselves are accurate,” Zuckerberg said.
Speaking further in a vlog, Zuckerberg added that posts that “may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote” will be removed regardless of who posts them or whether they may be considered newsworthy.
“I’m optimistic that we’re going to be able to make progress on these challenges,” Zuckerberg said. “I think we’re going to be able to do that while maintaining our democratic traditions around free expression and voting, and I’m committed to making sure that Facebook is a force for good on this journey.”
The move to moderate its policy around hate speech came right after multi-national consumer goods company, Unilever joined the over 100 brands in pulling out its ads from the platform; this saw Facebook’s stock drop by 7%. It was then mandatory for the tech giant to take necessary actions as the singular act by Unilever has a greater potential of attracting more brands to follow suit.
As a matter of fact, Of its 100% annual revenue stream to the tune of $78 billion; approximately 98% of the revenue is gained from advertisements on the platform. Refusing to take a bow to the pressure from all angles would mean jeopardizing a major chunk of its revenue stream which may run badly on the company in the long run.
Meanwhile, regardless of the new development, there is yet to be a major impact on the ongoing ad boycott as more ads a trooping in to participate.