THE NEUTRAL ZONE
Disney became one of the latest companies to boycott Facebook’s advertising platform over the company’s response to hate speech. In early 2020, Disney was the largest single advertiser on Facebook, spending an estimated $210 million.
Facebook has faced pressure from employees and clients after a controversial decision to not label an inflammatory post by President Donald Trump. Hundreds of employees staged a virtual walkout and top engineers quit the company.
Facebook commissioned an independent report into their handling of hate speech on the platform nearly two years ago. The report, which was released in early July, found their response to be a “significant setback for civil rights.” Facebook Ads bring in an annual $70 billion, so civil rights groups including the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League called for major brands to boycott the platform to pressure Facebook into stricter censoring of hate speech.
The Facebook ad boycotts have entered the big leagues. Now what? – CNBC – 6/27/2020
Last year, Facebook brought in $69.7 billion in ad revenue globally through its millions of advertisers. And though some of them command much higher Facebook budgets than others, it would take a large group withholding spend to make much of a financial dent. But the financial dent isn’t the end goal, Sleeping Giants said in a tweet Friday: ”…It’s about a broader reckoning around the platform’s lack of moderation of hate and disinformation. Advertisers don’t want to sponsor violent, bigoted content or lies.”
Factbox: More companies join Facebook ad boycott bandwagon – Reuters – 7/20/2020
The Stop Hate for Profit campaign was started by several U.S. civil rights groups after the death of African-American George Floyd in police custody triggered widespread protests against racial discrimination in the United States. Following are some of the companies that have decided to support the campaign…
Facebook reportedly loses another major advertiser: Disney – CBS News – 7/20/2020
Facebook said it does not comment on individual advertisers. The company said in an email to the Associated Press that it invests “billions of dollars each year to keep our community safe and continuously work with outside experts to review and update our policies.”
Jessica J. González on Twitter, 7/20/2020: Walmart, Geico, Allstate, Kellogg’s, Kohl’s, McDonald’s, Peloton, Ikea, and Disney have all quietly paused Facebook ads amid #StopHateForProfit campaign, via new report from @mmfa.
Bill Cannon on Twitter, 7/20/2020: “From Jan. 1 through June 27, Disney spent $211 million on Facebook ads, which was about $95 million more than the top 10 Facebook boycotters combined, according to Pathmatics.”
Daniel Roberts on Twitter, 7/20/2020: Since $DIS hasn’t made any grandstanding public statement about joining the boycott, isn’t it possible that Disney’s big $FB ad spending in first half of 2020 was just to push Disney+ and now it’s pulling back, unrelated to boycott?