Facebook’s been getting a lot of attention lately. Just not the kind it wants.
Since last year, Facebook’s been at the centre of one controversy after another.
First, it was the shaky IPO. Then the Cambridge Analytica data leaks.
Conducted secret social experiments (and got caught), looked the other way when the platform was used for inciting genocide and finally got a massive fine for violating user privacy.
Despite the controversies, Facebook’s ad revenue keeps on growing.
As far as advertising goes, it seems Facebook can do no harm. Even when it falsely reports on video metrics!
But there’s something different about their most recent run-in with civil rights groups.
Since last Friday, 17 brands have joined the Facebook boycott, including Unilever (which also pulled out of Twitter).
“Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society. We will [. . .] revisit our current position if necessary,” said Luis Di Como, Unilever’s executive vice president of global media.
Facebook’s stock fell by 8% last week resulting in a reversal on its policies on content moderation.
Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be following in Twitter’s footsteps only a week after pleading, “Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online”.
May be brands are finally ready to look beyond cheap clicks.
Or as BBC ponders, maybe in a pandemic infused downturn, this is just the kind of PR that was needed.