Facebook, at the heart of a controversy over its generosity with regard to hateful or biased content, sees more and more companies suspend their advertising on the social network.
The economic war continues and worsens between Facebook and the big brands. A few weeks ago, they were a hundred to have suspended their advertising on the social network. Now there are more than 1,000 and the conclusions of a recent audit have come to confirm them.
Indeed, this audit accuses Facebook of having taken problematic and heartbreaking decisions on the issue of civil rights. The authors criticize the world's first social network for leaving messages online by US President Donald Trump that could discourage voting or incite violence against anti-racism protesters.
Little reminder for those who did not follow the file: it all started a fortnight ago after the death of George Floyd in the United States. A surge of anger is mounting against social networks accused of not fighting racism and violence enough. In this context, Facebook does not react to messages from Donald Trump. This is where the boycott of American brands begins. Ben and Jerry first, then Coca-Cola, Adidas, Starbucks, Honda ... more than 1,000 so under the "#stop hate for profit", "no hate for profits".
Marck Zuckerberg did a bit of racism-washing, promising to be more careful but not much more. At Facebook, we tell you that the group is already doing a lot. 15,000 people work only on content moderation. And it’s not so easy to draw the line between freedom of expression and hate speech.
But nothing concrete concerning the requests of the associations behind the boycott. They claim for example the reimbursement of advertisers when their advertising is found next to a hateful or racist message, direct assistance for users victims of hatred or harassment or the appointment of a "civil rights" gentleman within Facebook. Only this last point would have attracted attention.
In the short term, this boycott cannot destroy Facebook. Facebook is more than 8 million advertisers, so a thousand businesses is a drop in the bucket. Afterwards, a boss never wants to lose money, because we are still talking in billions there. Except that to attract advertisers, Facebook must show that there is traffic on its network and what generates the most traffic? These are the fakenews and the biased words.
There remains the impact on the image of Facebook and that remains very difficult to assess.