Why Are Global Brands Boycotting Facebook Advertising?
It was only two years ago when Facebook found itself surrounded in embarrassing disclosures about Cambridge Analytica — a political consultancy that harvested millions of Facebook users’ personal data without their consent to be used for political ad targetting.
And yet again, Facebook finds itself in similar chaos, where global brands are coming on board with the idea of boycotting Facebook advertising.
The world’s largest social network, with more than 2.6 billion monthly active users, earns its revenue from ads, estimating to more $70 billion a year.
Brands and companies market their products and services heavily on the platform to reach their target audience.
So what is this boycott about?
A group of civil rights organizations including the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP and Color of Change called on brands to “Stop Hate For Profit” and not advertise on Facebook in July.
Facebook has been often criticized for not doing enough to combat hate speech, fake news and instead promoting political agendas by selective screening of profiles and tampering organic reach of content.
This goes as back as 2017 when a hate speech on Facebook helped fuel a genocide against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. In 2019, a gunman used the social network to live stream the mosque shootings in New Zealand.
The lack of progress became even more evident, in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, whose death sparked nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice. Conspiracy theories and misinformation about Floyd’s death spread on Facebook. Some of this misinformation popped up in private Facebook groups that are harder to moderate.
The company also faced criticism for not removing a protest-related post by President Donald Trump that could incite violence. Facebook left the post up because it was determined that Trump’s remarks “when the looting start, the shooting starts” did not violate its rules.
Facebook has been constantly used to incite violence against protesters and to suppress voting.
The campaign has been picking up steam with a variety of major brands, including Unilever, Adidas, Volkswagen, Microsoft, Starbucks, Hershey’s, etc, have announced that they’re joining the boycott.
Zuckerberg, who initially wasn’t worried and went on to say that the company has no intentions of making changes to its policies, has now agreed to meet with civil rights groups that have organised the boycott.
In a world where governments are constantly failing to regulate what happens on the internet. Global brands putting their foot down and raising voices against exploitative practices can make the best of social media monarchs bend the knee!
Not only brands and consumers have the tremendous potential of setting upscaling trends but also to force a crash landing when social media ends up making the world one step closer to hate, bigotry, racism, and violence rather than just bringing the world closer and connecting people!
A brand standing up against unfair practices not only speaks volumes about the brand’s values but also re-establishes the fact that the customer is and shall always remain the King.