Microsoft has reportedly paused advertising on Facebook and Instagram worldwide due to growing concerns about the content that is accompanying its adverts.
Interestingly, the company isn’t participating in the industry-wide Facebook advertising boycott alongside mega-corporations like Coca-Cola and Unilever. Instead, Microsoft is more worried that their adverts might be shown with “inappropriate content” such as hate speech or pornography, according to internal communication viewed by Axios.
Microsoft distances itself from larger boycott
“Based on concerns we had back in May we suspended all media spending on Facebook/Instagram in the US and we’ve subsequently suspended all spending on Facebook/Instagram worldwide,” Microsoft CMO Chris Capossela said in an internal Yammer post, responding to an employee’s question.
In other terms, Microsoft doesn’t trust these platforms enough to police the content they show to allow Microsoft ads on them. That the guidelines enforced by Facebook and Twitter do not do a good enough job to remove “inappropriate content.”
The distinction is important to Microsoft leadership, which seems to prefer to use is power over media partners to privately create or affect change instead of announcing their plans.
“Our experience tells us that the most impactful means to effect genuine, long-term change is through direct dialogue and meaningful action with our media partners, including the suspension of real marketing dollars,” Capossela wrote, making it clear that Microsoft wasn’t taking part in the larger boycott action.
“We’ve also learned from experience that it doesn’t help our customers, our media partners, or Microsoft to publicise our media spend strategy, but to instead work directly with partners on positive change.”
However, to Facebook, this means another blow to its bread-and-butter income of advertising. Microsoft represents another major company removing itself from the social network and its apps.
This news follows other companies distancing themselves from Facebook in a massive boycott headed by the #StopHateforProfit campaign by several American civil rights groups.
Many companies have said that Facebook’s lack of concrete policies against racism and hate speech across its social platforms is unacceptable as the US grapples with protests against systemic racism.
“There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media,” says CEO of Coca-Cola, James Quincey. Coca-Cola is one of the largest companies to join in on the boycott.
Because of the boycotts, Facebook’s share price dropped by 8% at close of trading last week Friday, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s net wealth fell by $7 billion as of Saturday.