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In Need of Friends: Advertisers Boycott Facebook

July 29 2020 by Matthew Bozin

With the current civil unrest and divisive online atmosphere, misinformation and hate speech have become a defining issue over the last few months, with social giants Facebook and Twitter, forcing advertisers to re-examine their relationship with the platforms.  

Free $peech Is Going to Cost You

As concerns grew over questionable political tweets and harmful rhetoric, Twitter began enforcing its policy regarding hate or violent speech in posts, the week of May 30th. But Facebook pushed back, arguing concerns over free speech and First Amendment rights. However, since Facebook is a privately held company, they have the ability to choose which content is shown on their platform, in accordance with their terms of service. This was essentially the argument from the #StopHateForProfit campaign, an organization which began lobbying advertisers to pull their ad dollars from the platform, a few weeks ago.

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Just a few of the brands that joined the Boycott.

What happened next was a cultural reckoning, as brands stepped up to the challenge, holding Facebook accountable. Over 400 brands, including Starbucks, Diageo News, Ford, Pfizer, and Verizon began pausing their Facebook spend and announcing it publicly.

And with advertising accounting for 98% of the company’s $70 Billion in revenue, it seems hitting Facebook in the wallet has sparked a change in tone as its CEO, Mark Zuckerburg met with the Stop Hate for Profit members, making some policy changes, but has yet to meet the threshold for brands to re-engage their budgets, leaving Facebook to test their advertiser “friendships” in this still ongoing, and developing story.

Want more boycott news? Watch our recent session where we cover the latest on both Facebook and Instagram. 

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About Author
Matthew Bozin

After earning his BS in Communications, Matt cut his teeth in the entertainment industry, spending fifteen years writing everything from feature screenplays for A-List directors, to celebrity bios for some of Hollywood’s top actors. That creative drive made it an easy transition to Marketing, bringing his eye for storytelling to the digital advertising ecosystem.

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