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The advertising boycott of Facebook, which saw over 1000 companies join the movement, stopped at the end of July. However, the organisers warn that the campaign is not over — stating that this was just a warning shot.
“The ad pause in July was not a full campaign – it was a warning shot across Facebook’s bow,” the Stop Hate For Profit coalition said on their website.
“This movement will not go away until Facebook makes the reasonable changes that society wants.”
The organisers vowed that bigger campaigns would come should Facebook not make significant changes.
The July boycott saw advertisers pause their spending for the entire month. Over 1000 companies joined, including major businesses such as Starbucks, Adidas, and PlayStation.
Did the Facebook boycott work?
The coalition views the boycott as a success in terms of increasing public mobilisation against and scrutiny of Facebook’s inaction on hate speech.
However, Stop Hate For Profit says that the social media network did not enact the extent of changes needed.
Since the start of the campaign, Facebook did introduce a few changes.
- Banning Boogaloo posts that promote violence
- Publicly releasing their most recent civil rights audit
- Creating a senior role to oversee civil rights
- Establishing a dedicated team to study algorithmic racial bias
Members of the coalition also met with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg in July. But they noted disappointment with the company’s response, saying that they used “the same old defence” for the presence of hate speech on the platform.
“Instead of actually responding to the demands of dozens of the platform’s largest advertisers that have joined the #StopHateForProfit ad boycott during the month of July, Facebook wants us to accept the same old rhetoric, repackaged as a fresh response,” the coalition said in their response after the meeting.
Facebook has faced mounting criticism for its policies. Several employees have resigned in protest against policies.
Meanwhile, early Facebook employees also published an open letter to Zuckerberg in June.
Employees even staged a virtual walkout in response to Facebook’s stance of US President Donald’s posts threatening to shoot protesters.
Focusing on antitrust case against Facebook
Part of the coalition has also moved its focus to lobbying for the antitrust case against Facebook, Axios reports.
Last week, tech CEOs testified before US Congress in an antitrust hearing that grilled companies on their anti-competitive behaviour.
The Stop Hate For Profit movement dented Facebook’s earnings, but also highlighted the company’s dominance in online advertising.
As such, the campaign will likely include additional focus on building the antitrust case against the social media giant.