Facebook is facing the biggest corporate boycott in the company’s history.
Following a call from advocacy groups working under the umbrella Stop Hate for Profit, more than 300 advertisers have pledged not to spend money on the platform for the month of July.
Although the boycott is unlikely to sink the company, it has received Mark Zuckerberg’s attention (about 98% of Facebook’s $70bn in annual revenue comes from advertising).
Zuckerberg has been forced to address the campaign in company meetings and is meeting on Tuesday with organizers to discuss hate speech on the platform and demands behind the boycott.
Among the organizations participating is Color of Change, an online civil rights group that has been campaigning for racial justice on Facebook for several years. The Guardian spoke with the group’s president, Rashad Robinson, about organizers’ demands, the meeting, and what to expect from the movement next.
Color of Change has long targeted Facebook over its policies. What led to this boycott and how do you think it is different from past actions?
What we have done differently this time is to go directly to big advertisers who also have not been able to get changes from the platform: advertisers who see their ads on Facebook showing up next to white supremacist and white nationalist content and who have watched as Mark Zuckerberg has seen himself as too powerful to have to listen.