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#StopHateForProfit leaders trash meeting with Facebook

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on July 08, 2020 Published on July 08, 2020

The troubles just don’t seem to end for social-media platform Facebook, which is facing an advertising boycott from many companies, including Coca Cola, Starbucks, Ford, and Verizon, on the #StopHateForProfit plank.

 

Stung by the backlash, top Facebook executives, including Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg and the Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, met with some of the campaign leader-activists on Tuesday, but from all accounts the meeting was a spectacular failure.

Media reports quoted the activists as saying that the virtual meeting, held on the Zoom video conference platform, was a huge disappointment.

Reporting on the meeting, Tech Crunch quoted Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt as saying: “Today we saw little and heard just about nothing.”

Facebook, he said, seemed to lack the capacity to bring “energy and urgency” to the issues that the activists had highlighted, centred around the platform’s amplification of an agenda of hate and misinformation.

Rashad Robinson, President of Color of Change, America’s largest online racial justice organisation, said acidly that Facebook executives appeared to be “expecting an A for attendance” — just for showing up for the meeting.

According to The Verge, Robinson termed the meeting “a disappointment... We were expecting a very clear answer to the demands we are making, and we did not get that.”

Jessica JGonzález, co-CEO of Free Press, which campaigns for media freedom, echoed that same sense of disappointment.

Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the civil rights organisation NAACP, slammed Facebook for not making enough of an effort to address the problem.

In a follow-up statement, Color of Change noted that the “only recommendation” that Facebook executives were willing to address related to a demand that the social media giant set up ‘civil rights position’.

But even there, Facebook was unwilling to commit that the position would be at the “C-suite level”, the statement noted.

The ad boycott campaign began in July, with a call made for corporates to stop advertising on Facebook and its sister platform, Instagram. The proximate trigger for the ad boycott campaign was Facebook’s decision not to pull down a post by President Donald Trump in which he had warned of violence against #BlackLivesMatter protestors across the US.

 

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Published on July 08, 2020
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