What just happened? Imagine losing more than $7 billion of personal wealth yet still being the fourth-richest person in the world. That's the situation Mark Zuckerberg has found himself in, as more companies, including Coca-Cola, join the Facebook/Instagram advertising boycott.
The 'Stop Hate for Profit' campaign, created by organizations including the NAACP, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and Mozilla, asks businesses "to stand in solidarity with our most deeply held American values of freedom, equality and justice and not advertise on Facebook's services in July."
Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have long been accused of not doing enough to remove hate speech from their platforms. "Let's send Facebook a powerful message: Your profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence," wrote the ADL.
Dozens of big-name brands have joined the campaign, including Verizon, Honda, The North Face, and Unilever, with Coca-Cola the most recent company to announce it would be suspending its ads. The drinks giant said it was banning advertising on all social media channels, not just Facebook and Instagram, for at least 30 days starting on July 1.
"We will take this time to reassess our advertising standards and policies to determine whether revisions are needed internally, and what more we should expect of our social media partners to rid the platforms of hate, violence and inappropriate content. We will let them know we expect greater accountability, action and transparency from them," explained company CEO James Quincey.
We are united in the pursuit of equality and justice, and stand with the Black community in the face of systemic racism and discrimination. Honda values are grounded in human respect and we must take action. Read more: https://t.co/CjBVVcLX9n--- HondaInclusion (@HondaInclusion) June 4, 2020
Facebook is behind only Google when it comes to digital advertising revenue. The social media giant brought in $69.7 billion from ads last year. In just under a week, Facebook's shares have dropped 11 percent, wiping over $56 billion from its market value, and Twitter is down around 14 percent over the same period. The drop has seen CEO Mark Zuckerberg's personal wealth decline by over $7 billion, though he's still worth around $79.7 billion, sitting between fifth-place Warren Buffett ($69.3 billion) and third-place Bernard Arnault ($105 billion) on Forbes' rich list.
We will pause all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the US in support of the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Facebook, Inc. must take the clear and unequivocal actions to stop its platform from being used to spread and amplify racism and hate. >>>https://t.co/7OpxtcbDGg pic.twitter.com/I989Uk9V3h--- Ben & Jerry's (@benandjerrys) June 23, 2020
On Friday, Facebook announced new policies designed to offer more information about voting, crack down on voter suppression, and fight hate speech. The company added that its AI tools and human moderators identify and remove 90 percent of hate speech "before anyone even reports it."