The world’s reigning social network turns out to have a flawed system in screening hate posts. Albeit its already existing policies in hate speech, there are still posts that manage to come through, and this irresponsibility puts the internet conglomerate in a bad light. Facebook preferred to play it safe regarding a lot of controversial statements that it allowed on their site and this lack of action gathered a lot of negative reactions.
The Trigger Point
With the ongoing rampage on the Black Lives Matter movement, and the continuous thirst for justice in George Floyd’s death, President Donald Trump made yet another racist remark when he addressed the Minneapolis police station fire as caused by “thugs.” Facebook neglected to censor the vulgar word, which then led to many angry outbursts. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s approach to this disgusted and angered many. His response led to an initiative that he did not expect would have this big of an impact.
The StopHateForProfit movement, a nonprofit activist organization, enumerated several more circumstances where Facebook failed to screen, or allegedly allowed posts of hate, prejudice and contempt circulate the site. This campaign aimed to teach Facebook a lesson by targeting their primary source of income, advertising. On June 17, the organization reached out to various companies who run their ads on Facebook, and not long after, it became a popular phenomenon.
Large companies began pulling out their ads on Facebook in support of the movement. This caused a massive disturbance in Facebook’s income flow, as planned.
Among of these globally-known corporate giants are:
The German automaker also faced backlash for a racist advertisement. But is now correcting their ways by being one of the supporters of the Facebook ad boycott.
Globally-renowned coffee giant expressed their stand on the movement, and will also exert their own efforts in eliminating spread of hate speech.
The tech company joined the movement, deciding to suspend their marketing on both Facebook and Instagram platforms, in alliance with the movement’s vision and also due to reasons they would not specify.
Another popular carmaker has also decided to boycott Facebook advertising to take their stand in intolerance of hate content.
One of the biggest producer of consumer’s everyday goods has taken out their advertising from Facebook and Instagram as well, possibly until the end of the year to show support for the StopHateForProfit campaign.
Coca-cola has also decided to go all out in ceasing digital ads not just on Facebook but on other social media platforms including Twitter and Youtube, to name a few.
Pfizer is among the few pharmaceutical companies that decided to join the boycott on social media ads.
More brands have taken their stand. One common statement among these companies is that they will not resume partnership with Facebook until they have deemed the social network as a worthy platform to carry out their marketing needs.
On the StopHateForProfit website, they have provided guidelines for Facebook to comply with, and demands that the site grow a backbone in combating hate and indecency, in hopes that the social network be used to spread goodness and promote peace.