In the last month and a half, brands across the continent have temporarily ended their use of Facebook Ads. This is due to Facebook’s lack of action against users posting hate speech across the platform. The issue has become more prominent as the Black Lives Matter movement continues to grow. Now, Facebook’s potential to facilitate both misinformation and hate speech has become a unifying cause to boycott the social giant.
About Facebook Advertisements
Facebook Ads is one of the largest means of digital advertising globally. With 2.5 billion users monthly, Facebook is an effective platform for a brand looking for a massive audience. With this massive audience, Facebook is able to generate the majority of its revenue from ads alone. Last year, the social media giant generated more $70 billion in revenue, 90% of which was from Facebook Ads.
How The Boycott Started
During the worldwide Black Lives Matter protests, the use of Facebook Ads with hateful messages skyrocketed. On June 17th, civil rights groups such as the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, and Color of Change, looked to change this. They requested for companies to ‘hit pause on hate’ with their Stop Hate For Profit Campaign. Since then, hundreds of companies have been boycotting the use of advertising through Facebook. In addition to Greeniche, some of the most notable companies boycotting Facebook Ads are:
- Best Buy, who has stopped using Facebook Ads for the entirety of July,
- Campbell’s Soup, who has paused all Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter activity until at least the end of August,
- Chipotle, who has stopped using advertisements on Facebook and Instagram for the entirety of July,
- CLIF Bar, who has stopped using Facebook Ads for the entirety of July, and
- Clorox, who will not be using Facebook Ads for the rest of 2020.
What We Hope For
Our hope is that, through awareness and action, we can help incite change in the management of Facebook’s platform. When companies move to other platforms to advertise, Facebook must make a choice. Either make a change and work to remove hate speech, or lose their main revenue stream.
Nearly a month after the beginning of the movement in early June, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced their movement towards change. He announced in a Facebook post that violence inciting posts will be removed despite their source. He also noted that groups know to promote or spread hateful speech or ideologies will be banned. By July 7th, 10 million posts violating rules had been removed from the platform.
While this shows that Facebook has begun to change, it is important to ensure the platform continues to follow through. Together, we can continue to pressure Facebook, and reach a point where all forms of hate speech are banned from the platform.
Greeniche’s Plan For Facebook Advertisements
Greeniche has not, and will continue to not use Facebook Ads for the remainder of July. While we have utilized them in the past, Facebook Ads have been removed from our marketing strategy for July. In August, Greeniche will evaluate whether change has been maintained by Facebook’s policy. Should Facebook proceed to screen and effectively remove hateful posts, Greeniche will feel comfortable returning to utilizing Facebook Ads.