Facebook has 8 million advertisers. Well, something like 7,999,997—and dropping. Three more big names have said they would join a Facebook ad boycott for the month of July and potentially longer. Ben & Jerry's, Eddie Bauer, and Magnolia Pictures are now on board, joining Patagonia, the North Face, and REI. The companies are protesting the social network's handling (or lack thereof) of hate speech on the platform. The New York Times reports those new names were added to the list on Tuesday, the same day Facebook presented to advertisers at the annual NewFronts, where digital media companies pitch themselves to brands; the Times called Facebook's presentation "upbeat" and noted it did not touch on the boycott. More:
- But the company did apparently reach out to some of its biggest advertisers. The Times obtained an email sent last week that read in part: "There are competing pressures every day when managing a platform. Our focus is to act on what is most important: removing hate speech and content that harms communities while using our platform for efforts like providing authoritative voting information and registering people to vote.”
- As for the genesis of the boycott, CNN reports the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, and other civil rights groups last week asked big advertisers to join its #StopHateforProfit campaign against Facebook. It called out the company's "repeated failure to meaningfully address the vast proliferation of hate on its platforms."
- Here's what Ben & Jerry's had to say on Twitter: "Facebook, Inc. must take the clear and unequivocal actions to stop its platform from being used to spread and amplify racism and hate."
- So what are those actions? CNBC reports on two moves the #StopHateforProfit wants Facebook to make: the formation of a “separate moderation pipeline” for users who say their race or religion has made them a target, and to provide advertisers with stats on how often their ads ran “next to content that was later removed for misinformation or hate.”
- So will the campaign hurt Facebook's bottom line? Quartz is highly skeptical. Those 8 million advertisers spend nearly $70 billion on Facebook ads. "To have any noticeable effect on its revenue would require a truly immense coalition," Quartz observes.
- At Fast Company, Jeff Beer zeroes in specifically on the outdoor companies who led the charge in terms of coming on board, and he makes the case that "Outdoor brands have always been about aspiration." And right now, they're aspiring for a better world. "Over the last few years, it’s been outdoor brands ... that have actually led the charge in speaking out on controversial issues, taking a stand, and translating that into action. There are a lot more companies and brands in our culture who reach more consumers, but when it comes to responsible business, this is where to find optimism for the future."
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