Facebook has attracted massive backlash from its employess, lawmakers and other stakeholders over the issue of hate speech. Facebook witnessed widening of Ad Boycott, called “Stop Hate for Profit” which came after the death of George Floyd, to force the company to take a step on hate speech and misinformation. More than 90 large advertisers including Coca-Cola, Unilever and Levi Strauss pulled back from advertising on Facebook because of certain unacceptable posts not being withdrawn from the site, which led to the company’s stock to fall by 8.3% on Friday, eliminating $56bn from the company’s market value. Mark Zuckerberg has refused to dislodge but has made modification to its company’s policies.
In a Facebook post on June 26, Mark Zuckerberg announced certain policies and made no exceptions for anyone, including politicians. Facebook will ban ads that claim people belonging to a group of particular race, religion, sexual orientation or immigration status are a threat to the society. Posts about voting will be labelled, that will direct users to authentic information which is called “Voter Information Center” and false claims that discourage people from heading to the polls will be banned. Certain posts will be labelled as ‘Newsworthy’ if the public interest outweighs the risk of harm, but people will still be able to share the content to criticize it. Earlier this month, Facebook also allowed people in the US to opt out of seeing political posts on their feed and added a feature that will notify the users when they share a news that’s more than 90 days old.
Advertisers are still not satisfied with the policy changes announced and demand Facebook to take further steps by establishing a permanent civil rights structure, getting in place an expert team to handle such complaints and removing all public and private posts that promote hate speech.