Sunday, 12 July, 2020

Facebook Ad Boycott Costs Mark Zuckerberg Over $7.2 Billion

More brands are signed up to freeze spending on Facebook but the company is making changes.
Illustration by Tam Nguyen  Ad Age More brands are signed up to freeze spending on Facebook but the company is making changes. Credit Illustration by Tam Nguyen Ad Age
Ginger Lawrence | 30 June, 2020, 22:05

The campaign was recently launched by six organisations in the United States, including the Anti-Defamation League and the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, and plans to call on organisations in Europe to follow suit, Reuters reported.

Starbucks is the latest big company to rethink advertising on Facebook, announcing Sunday it will stop paying for content across all social media platforms while consulting with civil rights groups and media partners.

For Perrin, this is a sign that big brands could be getting uncomfortable with social media sites or user-generated content in general.

REPORTER: Expanding the campaign outside the United States will take a bigger slice of Facebook's advertising revenue.

As analysts have pointed out (see today's RTBlog), the pure financial impacts if even all of Facebook's top advertisers pausing their advertising on Facebook and its parent company would be relatively modest, accounting for about 6% of Facebook's ad revenues, which generated most of its $70 billion in total revenues past year. Many of the U.S. based companies who have joined the list haven't stopped advertising they have just switched to other provides of online advertising.

Many brands are not as reliant on Facebook as they once were because they have realized Instagram is more valuable for attracting younger customers and because Facebook has lost some of its more targeted advertising abilities after the data of up to 50 million Facebook users was misused by analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. The campaign also alleged that Facebook had "turned a blind eye to blatant voter suppression" on its platform, adding that while Facebook could protect and support Black users as well as call out Holocaust denial as hate, it is "actively choosing not to do so".

Twitch Suspends President Trump for ‘Hateful’ Comments
After Twitter accounts that monitor Twitch reported that his channel had been suspended, Twitch issued a statement to Kotaku . In addition to r/The_Donald , Reddit has also banned a left-wing subreddit named after a podcast called r/ChapTrapHouse.

Civil rights groups - including the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP and Color of Change - launched a campaign called #StopHateForProfit and urged brands to halt Facebook advertising during July, saying the social network profits off bigotry, racism and violence.

In a new letter to Mark Zuckerberg, three Democratic lawmakers pressed the Facebook chief executive for accountability on his company's role in amplifying white supremacy and allowing violent extremists, like those in "boogaloo" groups, to organize on its platform. According to Bloomberg, the drop came after Unilever announced that it would stop spending money with Facebook's properties in 2020.

Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign has spent approximately $9 million on Facebook ads in the last month, while President Trump's re-election campaign has spent at least $5 million, according to its Ad Library Report.

Facebook also expanded its definition of prohibited hate speech, adding a clause saying no ads will be allowed if they label another demographic as unsafe.

"I'm committed to making sure Facebook remains a place where people can use their voice to discuss important issues, because I believe we can make more progress when we hear each other". It will also start to label content that may violate their policies if it is deemed newsworthy. "We ask that Facebook strengthen their content-moderation policies and enforce them consistently".

Zuckerberg added that there is no newsworthiness exemption to content that incites violence or suppresses voting. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has long said it is not appropriate for the company to regulate speech on its platform and has attempted to dodge accusations of political bias from both sides of the aisle. Similarly, there are also no exceptions for politicians.