Civil rights and activists groups met with Facebook leadership on Tuesday to discuss the site’s advertiser boycott.
What We Know:
- Hundreds of companies have joined the Stop Hate for Profit campaign by halting ad spending from Facebook. A coalition of nine partners, including the Anti-Defamation League and NAACP, helped organize the boycott. The campaign calls for 10 changes at Facebook, including hiring executives with civil rights experiences and removing groups focused on hate and violent conspiracies. The group also demands that Facebook ban political ads with misinformation.
- Facebook left the boycott organizers disappointed after the Tuesday meeting. Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, said Facebook executives “showed up to the meeting expecting an ‘A’ for attendance”. Free Press Co-CEO Jessica Gonzales said “the company’s leaders delivered the same old talking points to try to placate us without meeting our demands. Facebook approached our meeting today like it was nothing more than a PR exercise.” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said “We had 10 demands and literally, we went through the 10, and didn’t get commitments or timeframes or clear outcomes”.
- Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said the company created new policies that ban voter and census suppression and removed over 200 white supremacist groups.
- It is clear however, that boycott organizers will not be pleased until Facebook makes some serious organizational and platform changes. “For over 2 years, NAACP has entered into dialogue. We’ve watched the conversation blossom into nothingness,” said NAACP president Derrick Johnson. Jessica Gonzales said she is “tired of the vague promises” and that Free Press will not attend future meetings.
In early June, President Trump made a Facebook post saying “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” in response to national protests. Facebook did nothing about the post. Civil rights leaders met with Facebook leadership to demand action against the post, but Zuckerberg and Facebook defended their position. Rashad Robinson of Color of Change said that June meeting is when he knew a boycott was necessary.