As many as 19 major companies have, at least temporarily, pulled their ads from Facebook. It’s a big loss for the tech behemoth, both in terms of dollars and reputation. Facebook has long been lax on policing hate speech, posts that incite violence, and misinformation.
This was true even as recently as June 2020, when CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg refused to do anything about President Donald Trump’s Instagram post that warned: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” (Facebook owns Instagram, in case you didn’t know.)
Over time, the public, and even some Facebook employees, have grown fed up and upped their pressure the company. A group called Stop Hate for Profit took action and organized a push for advertisers to pull out for all of July. Feeling the heat, a whole mess of advertisers have since moved off the platform.
Facebook tried to walk back some of its policies on Friday, announcing new rules that might do something about problematic content – but they also leave lots of room for interpretation. As Mashable’s Jack Morse wrote: “Mark Zuckerberg has a bold new plan to occasionally do something about content that violates Facebook’s policies. Every now and then. When the company feels like it.”