A survey conducted by anonymous professional network Blind has revealed that over 40% of Facebook employees are concerned about organisations removing ads from the social media platform.
The ‘Stop Hate for Profit’ campaign, launched by several advocacy groups, has seen major brands, including Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Ford, adidas, Honda, Verizon and Unilever, remove ad campaigns from the platform for the month of July.
The campaign has criticised the platform for not doing enough to stop the incitement of violence against Black Lives Matter protesters, hate speech and voter supression. As of Wednesday, over 600 companies have joined the boycott.
Blind surveyed 53 Facebook employees to discover how they have responded to the ad boycott. 42% of respondents said they were concerned about advertisers pulling ads off of the platform, but 32% said they did not agree with Facebook’s new hate speech and voter suppression guidelines. However, despite this, 83% said they trusted Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership.
Stop Hate for Profit has outlined ten steps for Facebook to take in order to help tackle the issues, including hiring C-suite level executive with civil rights expertise, submit to regular, third party, independent audits, remove public and private groups focused on white supremacy, militia, antisemitism, violent conspiracies, Holocaust denialism, vaccine misinformation and climate denialism and creating an internal mechanism to automatically flag hateful content in private groups.
In response, Facebook has announced new hate speech and voter suppression guidelines, with a post from Mark Zuckerberg saying that the platform would work to provide authoritative information on voting during the pandemic, would implement additional steps to fight voter suppression, creating a higher standard for hateful content in ads and labeling newsworthy content.
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However, The Information reported that in comments made to Facebook staff, Zuckerberg said: “My guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough”, adding that “we’re not going to change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue”.
This comes after Facebook, which reportedly makes 99% of its earnings through advertising, reported a “significant reduction” in demand for advertising on the platform in its recent quarterly results.