During the week, advertisers like Coca-Cola and Unilever decided to stop spending on advertising on Facebook. With the approach of the Ameri...
During the week, advertisers like Coca-Cola and Unilever decided to stop spending on advertising on Facebook.
With the approach of the American elections in November, the tone is rising on the subject of social networks. The Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed in 2018 is still fresh in the memory, and current anti-racism movements have increased a formal need for social media transparency. After blaming a large part of its employees, last week Facebook experienced a protest movement among its advertisers.
Unilever, Coca-Cola, Honda, Verizon and more than 120 other companies took part in a boycott. For the next 30 days, they will no longer spend any more advertising space on Mark Zuckerberg's social network, in protest for greater transparency of the platform and better control over hateful content left online.
The story is not unrelated to the position of Facebook's founder, who last May decided to take a back seat on the issue of President Donald Trump's publications, censored by Twitter and penalised by Snapchat. This period had renewed the loss of trust of users and employees on the social network. A problem that was already significant, but which is nothing in the face of a dispute with advertisers.
Reaching the heart of the matter
Facebook derives much of its revenue from advertising, and an experience like this could have far-reaching consequences. For now, the group - which also owns Instagram - is not afraid. They have billions of dollars in revenue and, contrary to what you might think, a lot of that revenue comes from small businesses that want to get a little visibility.
The protest movement will last one month, according to the current comments of the companies that have decided to join it.
"The Coca-Cola Company will suspend paid advertising on all social media platforms worldwide for at least 30 days. We will take this time to re-evaluate our advertising policies to determine if revisions are necessary. We also expect greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners. »
Facebook takes action
On Friday, Facebook reacted to these various announcements and although it did not comment on the potential consequences in terms of revenue, the California firm wanted to defend itself through the measures carried out in comparison with other social platforms.
"The investments we have made in AI mean that we find almost 90% of the hate speech we take before users report it to us, while a recent EU report revealed that Facebook rated more hate speech reports in 24 hours than Twitter and YouTube," a spokesperson said in a statement.
Evidence that the issue is being taken seriously and that Facebook is being struck on its nerve, it has decided to tighten its regulation of hate advertising, and to allow for better reporting of messages posted that run counter to its policy. This stricter moderation echoes the platform's removal of several advertisements for Donald Trump's presidential campaign. On June 18, Facebook took a step towards the position of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey by censoring messages deemed hateful.