Recently, Facebook confirmed its call to action by changing policies against hate speech and voter suppression. However, the measures hardly put down the wave of companies withdrawing advertising from the platform. Meanwhile, many advertisers were already blaming the company’s authority to manage hate speech online.
In fact, Unilever declared to retrieve its advertisements from the platform for the next six months for the same reason. Without delay, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced the new changes. In contrast, being unconvinced many brands kept boycotting Facebook advertisements. For instance, Coca-Cola, Honda, the chocolate brand Hershey. Alongside them, the apparel companies Lululemon and Jansport joined the cause. In other words, more than 100 brands boycotting advertising on this platform.
Generally speaking, the company earns almost 98% of its $70billion in annual revenue from advertising. Particularly, Unilever’s announcement sent Facebook stocks at a loss of 7%. Not to mention, Unilever’s decision put significant pressure on the social media giant. To emphasize, being one of the largest advertisers in the world, Unilever has an influence on other brand advertisers to follow its lead.
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According to Facebook authority, they are taking an approach similar to that of Twitter. In other words, labeling posts that may violate its policies. However, Facebook’s authority will allow these to remain on the platform because they feel that these are still newsworthy. Furthermore, Facebook will also include a link to its voting information center on any post with information about voting, including by politicians.
“I’m optimistic that we’re going to be able to make progress on these challenges. I think we’re going to be able to do that while maintaining our democratic traditions around free expression and voting. Moreover, I’m committed to making sure that Facebook is a force for good on this journey.
-Mark Zuckerberg (CEO, Facebook)
To sum up, the policy changes highlight the increased pressure it faces in a nation hit by pandemic and protests. In addition, the decision by Unilever to boycott Facebook illustrates that the pressure is likely to increase.
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