The beginning of the #StopHateforProfit boycott campaign was marked relatively small in efforts so that Facebook could be held accountable for perceived policy failings. However, this campaign gained momentum and escalated quickly over a few months. The leaders from this campaign met the Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, and other Facebook executives including Sherly Sandberg.
After their meeting with Facebook’s leaders, the four people leading the boycott labeled the meeting as an unequivocal disappointment. According to the four men, the meeting didn’t go well.
This boycott campaign is being led by four organizations namely, Color of Change, Free Press, the NAACP, and the Anti-defamation League. The organizational head of Color of Change, Rashad Robinson, said that the meeting was just a disappointment. The CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, Johnathan Greenblatt, told the media that in the meeting they ‘saw very little’ and ‘heard even less’.
To this, the other two leaders asserted on the fact that Facebook fails to apply the sense of urgency to issues like hate and misinformation.
Demands from the boycott Leaders
The meeting went on for more than an hour and was conducted on Zoom. According to reports, Facebook’s policy team headed by Sheryl Sandberg and Chris Cox failed to make any firm commitments on the 10 demands places by the boycott campaign organizers. These demands included prohibiting calls to violence from politicians and the removal of groups focused on the white supremacy and Holocaust denial. Not only this, but they have also demanded a strict moderation of hate speech and extremism in private Facebook groups, and provide more support for users facing harassment.
Reports suggest that on Wednesday an official statement will be released from Sherly Sandberg from a two-year civil rights audit of the company’s policies. However, this move also condemned by the four leaders criticizing the time of release and calling it ‘ a transparent effort to change the narrative’.
Facebook’s not-so-accepted viewpoint
Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, previously, indicated that they were reluctant to make concessions. Even though Zuckerberg announced a few changes he stopped well short of the boycott campaign organizer’s ten demands. The groups behind the boycott campaign have demanded from Facebook the appointment of a high-level executive to oversee civil rights issues at the company.
This campaign has also had its impact outside of Facebook. Noticeable moderation efforts could be seen by YouTube, Reddit, and Twitch. In the midst of public scrutiny, Facebook took down a number of pages associated with the insurrectionist ‘boogaloo’ movement.
However, Mark Zuckerberg told his employees that he wouldn’t change or fidget with the company policies over a small amount of their revenue or for that matter any amount of revenue. He has also predicted that all his advertisers will be back ‘soon enough’.