Joining an ever growing list of large tech companies pulling out of Facebook advertising, Sony’s PlayStation has joined the Facebook boycott movement which aims to reduce the spread of hate speech on the platform.
“In support of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, we have globally suspended our Facebook and Instagram activity, including advertising and non-paid content, until the end of July.” Sony Play Station said. For those unaware, the #StopHateForProfit campaign is a boycott movement against Facebook supported by civil rights groups and more than 400 companies.
“Facebook is a company of incredible resources. We hope that they finally understand that society wants them to put more of those resources into doing the hard work of transforming the potential of the largest communication platform in human history into a force for good.” said the #StopHateForProfit campaign leaders.
The boycott organizers have made up a long list of recommendations for Facebook to comply with. These deal with Accountability, decency, and support. They want Facebook to hire a permanent civil rights body that will evaluate the posts and remove the hateful comments which can potentially hurt people. Most importantly, they want Facebook to create expert teams that can handle complaints from people who feel hurt or harassed due to comments or posts on the platforms.
Certain sources say that Mark Zuckerberg has told employees that “my guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.” Zuckerberg, time and time again, tried to justify that Facebook is doing a lot to reduce the spread of misinformation and hate speech as much as possible and that the company, in no way benefits from these activities. That being said, Facebook has failed to convince its users of the same, especially when it comes to political candidates and law makers. The outrage, that started with Trump’s comments about the lootings in the country, has only escalated since.
Facebook has taken many steps to remove its negative image. The company also started adding tags to potentially abusive comments. It also responded to the illegal things happening regarding the U.S. elections by removing comments which could suppress and demotivate voters. On 1st July Facebook had announced that it would review and audit its hate speech control. However, even with these measures, Facebook could not satisfy the campaigners.
Advertisements account for more than 98% of Facebook’s revenue. This means that this campaign with more companies boycotting Facebook can be a major threat to Facebook’s revenue. Moreover, this will affect Facebook’s already vulnerable market image. If this campaign keeps growing consistently then it should put enough pressure on the company to improve its policies and efforts for the better. And with big names like Coca-Cola, Mozilla, and Target joining in, the campaign is bound to go strongly.