More trouble for Facebook; Activists urge brands to extend FB ban

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Following its meeting with Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, the organizers of the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign that urged brands to pause their ads on the platform, said that they saw no commitment to action.”

For over an hour, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Free Press, Color of Change and NAACP met with Facebook executives including Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, to discuss the demands of the groups via video conferencing.

The initiative, which calls for advertisers to suspend their Facebook advertising for July, has proposed 10 changes it seeks, including encouraging victims of extreme abuse to speak to an employee for Facebook and offering refunds to marketers whose ads appear next to offensive material that is later deleted.

Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the ADL said that “We had 10 demands, and literally we went through the 10 and we didn’t get commitments, timeframes or clear outcomes.”

Color of Change clarified in its statement that though Zuckerberg and Sandberg showed an inclination to tackle the creation of a civil rights position within the organization, they would not commit to making it a senior executive job or describing the role.

They added that no information was offered regarding the independent investigation of hate speech that was promised to the advertisers. Also, Facebook reportedly refused to provide live user help for abuse victims through a Facebook representative.

In a statement, Facebook responded that “we know we will be judged by our actions, not by our words and are grateful to these groups and many others for their continued engagement. They declined to offer any confirmation as to who else attended the video conference.

The campaign is coordinated by numerous civil rights organizations in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody and has onboarded over 900 advertisers. The campaign wants the world’s largest social media network to take meaningful action to combat hate speech and misinformation.