Facebook’s stock price is being hammered by a massive boycott of the social media giant’s major advertisers. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s personal wealth is also feeling the brunt of the stand-off.
As of Saturday last week, Zuckerberg’s net wealth is down around $7 billion, while Facebook’s share price dropped by more than 8% at the close of trading on Friday.
Advertising is Facebook’s largest source of income, with the company making $17.4 billion in ad sales alone in the first three months of 2020.
Coca-Cola Backs #StopHateforProfit
Soft-drink juggernaut Coca-Cola is one of the latest brands to halt all of its social media advertising, backing the #StopHateforProfit campaign by American civil rights groups.
CEO James Quincey says that the company would halt the advertising for 30 days while it rethinks its policies.
“There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media,” Quincey wrote on Coca-Cola’s site.
“The Coca-Cola Company will pause paid advertising on all social media platforms globally for at least 30 days. We will take this time to reassess our advertising policies to determine whether revisions are needed. We also expect greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners.”
The #StopHateforProfit campaign launched on June 19 in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers and the subsequent worldwide protests.
It came into fruition when Facebook refused to remove a post by President Donald Trump where he suggests that protesters who incite violence will be shot. Trump wrote in the Facebook post that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
With pressures mounting from the campaign, major advertisers began to rethink their ad spend on Facebook until the social network introduces stricter moderation policies.
Business Insider writes that worldwide mega-corporations such as Unilever, North Face, Verizon and many others have over the last week either paused or completely halted their advertising with Facebook, as well as other social media platforms as a result of the campaign.
Facebook announces new measures
Zuckerberg announced that the company will begin to label “newsworthy” posts from politicians that break its rules on certain criteria such as hate speech or speech that espouses violence. A significant shift and a sure sign the boycott is working as intended. Previously, Facebook had completely refused to moderate political rhetoric.
These new measures, however, may not be enough for the groups behind the campaign. Those groups, namely, NAACP, Colour of Change and the Anti-Defamation League have urged Zuckerberg’s company to take even stronger action.
“We have been down this road before with Facebook,” NAACP wrote on its site.
“They have made apologies in the past. They have taken meagre steps after each catastrophe where their platform played a part. But this has to end now.”