Facebook ad boycott organisers see ‘no commitment to action’ in Zuckerberg meeting | Tech/Gadgets

Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Washington October 23, 2019. — Reuters pic

SAN FRANCISCO, July 8 — Organisers of a growing Facebook Inc advertising boycott said they saw “no commitment to action” after meeting with Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg yesterday.

More than 900 advertisers have signed on to the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign, organised by social justice groups including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and Free Press, to pressure the world’s largest social media network to take concrete steps to block hate speech and misinformation, in the wake of the death of George Floyd in police custody.

“They (Facebook) showed up to the meeting expecting an A for attendance,” said Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, one of the boycott organisers, during a press call following the meeting.

The campaign, which calls for advertisers to pause their Facebook ads for July, has outlined 10 changes it wants from Facebook, including allowing victims of severe harassment to speak with a company employee and giving refunds to brands whose ads show up next to offensive content that is later removed.

Color of Change said in a statement the only recommendation Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg attempted to address in the meeting was establishing a civil rights position within the company, but they would not commit to making it a senior executive job or defining the role.

Facebook “refused to offer” live user support with a Facebook rep, and provided no details on an independent hate speech audit it has discussed with advertisers, Color of Change said.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment. — Reuters

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