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Article

1 Jul 2020

Author:
CBS SF Bay Area

More than 500 companies join Facebook ad boycott ‘stop hate for profit’

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[M]ore than 500 companies officially kicked off an advertising boycott intended to pressure Facebook into taking a stronger stand against hate speech. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to meet with its organizers early next week... In a broad sense, the current boycott, which will last at least a month, is like nothing Facebook has experienced before. Following weeks of protests against police violence and racial injustice, major brands have for the first time joined together to protest still-prevalent hate speech on Facebook’s platforms by taking aim at the social network’s $70 billion in annual ad revenue... As of Wednesday, 530 companies have signed on — and that’s not counting businesses like Target and Starbucks, which have paused advertising but did not formally join the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign, which calls its action a “pause” rather than a boycott.

... Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs and communications, tried to reassure businesses that Facebook “does not benefit from hate” and said the company has every incentive to remove hate speech from its service. He acknowledged that “many of our critics are angry about the inflammatory rhetoric President Trump has posted on our platform and others, and want us to be more aggressive in removing his speech.” 

Clegg, however, offered few concessions, and instead repeated Zuckerberg’s frequent talking point that “the only way to hold the powerful to account is ultimately through the ballot box.” He pointed to Facebook’s get-out-the-vote efforts as evidence of the company’s commitment, along with the billions of dollars, tens of thousands of content moderators and other investments it has made in trying to improve its platform.

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