Facebook and anti-racism: Can the boycott kill the social media giant?

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Reuters

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6 percent of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising to big companies

The boycott may be very effective, as the Facebook company is currently witnessing.

At the end of the eighteenth century, the abolitionist movement encouraged the British to move away from the goods produced by slaves. About 300,000 people stopped buying sugar, which eventually led to the abolition of slavery.

The “Stopping Hate for Profit” campaign may be the latest move the boycott is currently using as a political lever. The campaign says that Facebook is doing everything in its power to remove content that promotes racism and hatred from its pages.

She is convinced that a number of large companies will withdraw their ads from Facebook and other social media sites.

Among the newest ones are Ford, Adidas and HP. It has joined previous companies, including Coca-Cola, Unilever, and Starbucks.

Axios news site also reported that Microsoft suspended the advertisement on Facebook and Instagram in May due to concerns about “inappropriate content”, a development confirmed by the BBC.

On the other hand, other sites, including Reddit and Twitch, have made a remarkable move by taking steps to combat hatred.

Loss of confidence

Could that boycott hurt Facebook?

The short answer is yes, as the majority of Facebook revenue comes from ads.

David Cummings, who works for Aviva Investment, told the BBC that the loss of confidence and public awareness of the absence of ethics could “destroy the company”.

On Friday, Facebook shares fell 8 percent, making the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, theoretically impoverished at least $ 6 billion.

Whether or not this boycott will grow, which is not clear, is a threat to Facebook’s long-term existence.

First, this is not the first time that a social media company has been boycotted.

In 2017, well-known companies announced after another to stop their advertisements on YouTube, after they placed their ads alongside racist videos, some of which carried homophobia.

That boycott may be now completely forgotten. However, YouTube changed its advertising policy, and after three years, the parent company, Google, regained its position.

But there are other more reasons to believe that this boycott will not harm Facebook as we think.

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Getty Images

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Some companies think that dealing with Facebook is easier because you have to convince one individual who is the CEO

Returns from small companies

First, many companies committed to boycotting for only one month, July.

Second, and this may be more important, most of the Facebook advertising revenue comes from thousands and thousands of small and medium-sized companies.

CNN reported that the top 100 largest companies spent $ 4.2 billion on Facebook ads last year, about 6 percent of the company’s advertising revenue.

So far, most medium-sized companies have not pledged to participate in the boycott.

There is a large number of small companies that “cannot use advertising,” said Lee Matt Morrison, head of advertising strategy at Whiskey Digital Advertising.

He says that small companies, which cannot afford to advertise on television, are cheaper and more focused to advertise on a platform like Facebook.

He added: “The only way our companies operate is to reach the target audience in a big way, not the media audience, so we will continue advertising and advertising.”

On the other hand, Facebook seems to be the best option for any company to fill in the opinion. The installation of Facebook gave Zuckerberg great power to effect change. If he wants something, he does it.

And here you only need to persuade one individual.

But the opposite is also true. Shareholders cannot pressure Zuckerberg in the same way that they do with other companies. If he wants not to act, he will do nothing.

But Zuckerberg has so far shown signs that he will act. Facebook announced Friday that it will start identifying content that promotes hate, and will announce more measures this week.

But these changes will not be enough to stop the “Stopping Hate for Profit” campaign.

There are others who take their own actions on platforms other than Facebook.

On Monday, Reddit banned the platform “Donald Forum”, in a massive crackdown on “smaller parts of Reddit” whose members participated in harassment and threats. This platform is not officially associated with President Donald Trump, but it has helped widely in disseminating information in support of it, before Reddit took action to limit the reach of his publications to a wider range.

Twitch also temporarily banned an account run by the Trump campaign.

Amazon’s parent company, the video broadcast company, said that two videos from Trump’s rallies at noon on the platform violated the rules for spreading hate.

One of the videos goes back to 2015, before Trump’s election, when he said at the time that Mexico was sending rapists to the United States. The other one goes back to the beginning of this month, in which Trump described an imagined man of American-Latin origin as violently storming an American house.

“We do not exclude anyone for political reasons, or because of the content of my news that is worthy of publication,” Twitch said in a statement.

Facebook is no exception to this. But companies will always be ruled by their returns.

And if the boycott continues until the fall, and if other companies participate in it, then this year may be crucial for the social media site.



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https://www.bbc.com/arabic/science-and-tech-53240580

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