More than a thousand advertisers have now stopped spending on Facebook. Those behind the efforts say Facebook hasn’t made a commitment to changing anything.
Jonathon Greenblatt with the Anti-Defamation League, along with leaders of other civil rights groups (NAACP, Color of Change, Free Press), organized the Stop Hate for Profit campaign to hold Facebook accountable. “Mark Zuckerberg has really elevated freedom of expression above all else. But I think that we need to realize that hateful words can have harmful results,” Greenblatt told Vox.
He recounts a troubling conversation with Zuckerberg after the movement picked up steam. They had provided a list of actions that could Facebook deal with the issues. During a call, however, things didn’t come together the way the ADL had hoped.
“…we expected we were going to review the recommendations and talk about their implementation, strategy — what they would do and when they would do it.,” he said. “But we didn’t get any of that. There was no concrete conversation. There was no review of milestones. There was no proposal of time frame. There was really nothing, so we left that call extremely disappointed.”
The 10 recommendations by the groups have gone unaddressed.
Jessica Gonzales, Co-CEO of Free Press said FB approach the meeting “like it was nothing more than a PR exercise.” She went on to say in a news release on the group’s website:
“#StopHateForProfit didn’t hear anything today to convince us that Zuckerberg and his colleagues are taking action. Instead of committing to a timeline to root out hate and disinformation on Facebook, the company’s leaders delivered the same old talking points to try to placate us without meeting our demands.
I’m deeply disappointed that Facebook still refuses to hold itself accountable to its users, its advertisers and society at large. I was hoping to see deep humility and reflection about the outsized role that Facebook plays in shaping beliefs, opinions and behavior, and the many harms it’s caused and facilitated in real life. Instead we saw more dialogue and no action.”
It comes on the heels of a civil rights audit requested by Facebook which took the social media giant to task. Facebook said it has made significant improvements to deal with civil rights on its platform, but the auditor (Laura Murphy, formerly of the ACLU) told the LA Times: “We have also watched the company make painful decisions over the last nine months with real world consequences that are serious setbacks for civil rights.” The report was more of a condemnation of the company’s practices and failure to act.
Recent sesponses from Facebook: