Verizon has announced that it will be suspending all advertisements on Facebook, for its blatant disregard for the safety of its users, turning a blind eye to hate speech and fear mongering.
Facebook has been the go to platform for advertising, and makes up for a large chunk of the total revenue generated online through ads. That being said, it has not had the most innocuous of track records, often running into problems, both financial and legal. The latest addition to the list was Facebook’s cavalier approach towards hate speech, especially by Donald Trump.
The US President had made some remarks on Facebook, that were deemed ‘less than appropriate’ by various other social media websites, including Twitter. However, Facebook decided to leave the post untouched, offering up a huge explanation for the decision, coming from the table of Mark Zuckerberg himself.
Ever since then, the company has been running into one storm after the other. The company was already in the cross hairs of law makers, for various reasons. Cambridge analytica, the company’s lack of response to inquisitional queries and its decision to not only serve political ads, but also not fact checking them. However, the turn of events has attracted scrutiny from private companies as well, who have decided to boycott Facebook from all their advertisement ventures.
Ice Cream company Ben and Jerry’s, outdoor gear companies Patagonia and The North Face earlier said they would suspend Facebook ads. Now, Verizon has decided to follow suite, and has become the biggest company to suspend ads on Facebook so far. This happened after Anti-Defamation League said in a letter to advertisers that it had found a Verizon ad on Facebook appearing next to a video containing anti-Semitic rhetoric from conspiracy group QAnon.
“Advertisements are running alongside divisive, hateful and conspiratorial content – not something that most companies want,” the ADL said.
This, as one would expect, put Verizon in an awkward position, and suspending ads on the platform was the only way to get out it.
Facebook has been affected adversely by the bans, and is expanding upon “the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information,” Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president of global business, said.