The death of George Floyd once again saw an uprising of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. In the middle of the pandemic, protestors around the world gathered and raised their voices against the systemic injustice which has been taking place not just for the last few decades, but centuries.
#BlackLivesMatter also witnessed a rise in the hate speech and racially targeted opinions on minorities, especially on the giant social media platform: Facebook. Facebook didn’t take down the hate speech & racist content and the end result was that brands came together and announced they will stop advertising their brand on Facebook.
By the end of June, Mark Zuckerberg lost $7.2 Billion as soon as the ban was announced. Unilever, Microsoft, Starbucks Coca-Cola, Ford, are some of the many brands who have currently paused their marketing campaigns on Facebook
The stock price of Facebook went down by 8% near the end of June after the ban was announced by brands. Soon after that, Zuckerberg announced that they will work on hiding or blocking the content which is considered hateful. But this was too late and the damage was already done.
“Continuing to advertise on these platforms at this time would not add value to people and society. We will be monitoring ongoing and will revisit our current position if necessary,” says Luis Di Como, Unilever’s Executive Vice President of global media.
According to Statista, Facebook’s ad revenue stood at $69.7 billion which is nearly 98.5% of total revenue in the year 2019. But the projections for the year 2021 hasn’t declined yet. Combined ad revenue for Facebook & Instagram is forecasted to reach $95 billion.
Time will tell whether the Facebook ad ban by brands reduced Facebook’s ad revenue or not. But one thing is for certain that the executive team at Facebook isn’t proactive, but rather, defends themselves and then backtracks on its decisions. Trust & loyalty takes years to build but a second to break it. And especially with Facebook, we’ve witnessed this pattern more than once.
It is high time that the top management at Facebook aligns it’s profitable goals with ethical problems of society and ensures that their stakeholders are satisfied with the policies put in place to fight these societal challenges.