Facebook’s Tensions With Advertisers Predate the Boycott

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Facebook is facing an advertising boycott to protest its handling of hateful comments and derogatory content. The initiative uses the hashtag #StopHateForProfit.

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Sahil Patel
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Sahil Patel

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@sizpatel

sahil.patel@wsj.com

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Nat Ives
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Nat Ives

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@natives

nat.ives@wsj.com

June 30, 2020 7:33 pm ET

In a virtual town hall with marketers and advertising agencies on Tuesday, Facebook Inc. executives once again tried to answer complaints that the company hasn’t done enough to counter hate speech and misinformation.

Led by Carolyn Everson, vice president of Facebook’s Global Business Group, executives described efforts to make the Facebook and Instagram platforms less hostile and the difficulty of moderating conversations without constraining speech, according to participants.

It was just the latest effort by Facebook to show that the social-media giant takes seriously the concerns about its policies. But the company isn’t only confronting the challenge sparked on June 17, when several civil-rights groups called on advertisers to pull their spending as a way to pressure Facebook into changing the way it handles content. Facebook is also facing discontent from advertisers stretching back years.

“The history really helped everyone feel pretty vindicated in taking …

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