Canada's Big Five banks join Facebook advertising boycott

Marco Green
July 3, 2020

CEO Mark Zuckerberg weighed in on the growing advertising boycott centered around the company and told employees that he was reluctant to bow to pressure and was not anxious about the withdrawal of advertisers.

My guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough'. Facebook employees erupted in protest in early June, staging a virtual walk-out from work after the company declined to remove or add a note to Trump's "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" post directed at protests in Minnesota over George Floyd's killing. "We're not gonna change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue, or to any percent of our revenue", Zuckerberg stated.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the accuracy of the transcript. "But as we've said, we make policy changes based on principles, not revenue pressures", the spokesperson said.

Anti-hate groups are leading a boycott surrounding the move away from Facebook, and are keeping a list of more than 700 companies they say are supporting it.

Zuckerberg is due to meet with the boycott's organisers himself after negotiations with lower-ranking executives stalled.

In a broad sense, the current boycott, which will last at least a month, is like nothing Facebook has experienced before.

The campaign claims 70% of Facebook's $70 billion is made through advertising and is urging advertisers to take a stand against hate speech on the social network.

Many companies, including Starbucks and REI, have pulled advertisements from the platform in response to calls that they put action behind their recent statements denouncing racism and police violence.

Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs and communications, responded to the boycott in a Wednesday open letter headlined: "Facebook does not benefit from hate".

His conviction that boycotting companies will probably blink before he does reflects the sharp power imbalance between Facebook, which has a dominant share of the social media advertising market, and its customers, who often have few other options.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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