Facebook has been cowering behind their stance that they support free speech as a way of maintaining an anything-goes stance on its platform, assuming that anything isn’t a breastfeeding mother. It seems that in the wake of the inexcusable death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed by Minneapolis police, a group of online activists have finally had enough and are calling on corporations with a sense of social justice to boycott advertising via Facebook — #StopHateforProfit
There has been a growing movement lead by organisations in the USA such as Free Press, Common Sense Media, Color of Change and the Anti-Defamation League to inspire advertisers to boycott Facebook. Why? Because Facebook has been refusing to establish tougher moderation of hate speech on their platform, despite multiple examples of hate speech being demonstrated.
In recent days Facebook has made mild concessions about some ad content and applying warnings to these when they’re identified. However for those advocating for social change this just isn’t enough:
- Facebook promised to apply their hate policy to ads – but not do anything about hate more broadly in groups and posts where it is a far more significant and systemic issue.
- Posts from someone “newsworthy” that call for violence will be labelled – but they will still be allowed despite the clear harm that they may pose.
In the USA they take their free speech very seriously, and companies hide behind the first amendment which limits the GOVERNMENT’S power to restrict speech, not a private corporation — after all, in the USA a corporation is a person after all. Now 160 companies have joined in the boycott, some fully with complete advertising stops worldwide, other with temporary USA-only advertising boycotts via Facebook.
The movement is now trying to spread outside of the USA into Europe, but we’re sure that any Australian Companies who have even the slights bit or morals would be welcomed with open arms into the movement. Many of the USA based companies who have joined the list haven’t stopped advertising they have just switched to other provides of online advertising.
What is Ausdroid doing to support this movement? We already do not pay for advertising via Facebook but are considering abandoning their platform and related services such as Instagram. What steps do you think we should take?