Facebook very recently announced about putting a ban on advertisements claiming people from a specific origin, religion, race ,sexual orientation ,gender discrimination, racism or anyone who pose a threat to the health and safety of others, with no exception to any politician or government of any country in the world. In order to protect the refugee and immigrants better than before, it has restricted the use of derisive languages that could hurt the sentiments of people. This ban is just for the paid promotions, not for usual posts as every user have their freedom of speech and encourages expressing their opinion freely, without violation of content. This announcement by facebook was a result of the boycott by all the big companies to stop the message of hatred from spreading.
Last week, the campaign “StopHateForProfit ” was launched by Anti Defamation League(DFL) and NAACP , since Facebook repeatedly failed to address hatred on all platforms. The campaign was started as a way of protest against Donald trump’s statement, involving shooting protesters invoking phrase about racism. Retailers like the North Face, RE, were the initial outdoor companies to do so.
In Big companies fight against undermining their democracy, and to stop the flames of racism ,Ben & Jerry’s joined the boycott. Coca-Cola , on charges of expecting action and transparency , called of their advertising for at least 30 days .Hershey’s , in addition to one month long boycott, went on to cutting off it’s advertisement cost in facebook and Instagram by nearly one-third for the remaining year. Honda, is the first automobile industry to sign in for this. In total, around 160 companies joined hands and came together for this boycott.
Facebook in it’s defence responded by saying that they deeply respect all the brands and their decisions. Their prime focus is to stop the hate speech , and enforce back the trust of people encouraging freedom of speech and expression. They even went on to the extent to explain that they’ve no incentive to tolerate any hate speech, and instead wants a positive connection with it’s users all around the world.
This has led to the falling down of facebook shares by nearly 3%.Since a large amount of it’s revenue comes by way of advertising, this boycotting by companies is affecting it adversely to the extent that it’s value is deteriorating day-by-day. Starbucks ,one of it’s biggest contributor to the total advertisement revenue earned, have affected the brand value of facebook further.
Facebook is not new in imposing restrictions. Recently we’ve seen few cases where Facebook had put an ban on advertisements promoting selling of masks. This was done to prevent the hoarding in bulks and then selling it off in double the price. Also, in month of February facebook had even confirmed a total ban on the misleading coronavirus advertisement, so as to stop the panic going around the world. In order for facebook to prevent losses, it needs to follow strict restrictions, giving no chance for the public to complain .