Facebook is struggling with inaction to stop the spread of hate speech. Four new large companies have joined the list of companies on Tuesday that have decided to withdraw advertising from the platform to denounce that certain messages of this kind circulate freely. This has translated into a week of free fall on the stock market for the social network. With the exception of small rises, the shares of the American technology company have not stopped falling since last Tuesday. If then they cost about 242 dollars each (215 euros) on Monday they were worth 220 (195 euros), 10% less, which translates into an overall loss of value of about 60 billion dollars (55 billion euros) . And this without including the effect of the withdrawal of Puma, Adidas, Ford and HP, which fatten a list where there was already Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Levi’s or Unilever.
The last four companies to join the protest announced on Tuesday that throughout July their advertising will not appear on social media. Ford has specified that it is suspending its advertising investment while conducting an evaluation process, and HP, which will extend the measure until it observes “a safer environment.” The two sportswear brands, Puma and Adidas, have also stated that they will withdraw their investment in advertising from both Facebook and Instagram.
The protest began in the middle of the month. On June 17, seven American associations involved in press freedom and anti-defamation or racism activism launched the campaign. Stop hate for profit, which called for stopping support for hatred in exchange for money and encouraged companies to withdraw their social media advertising campaigns owned by Mark Zuckerberg in July. “What would you do with $ 70 billion?” The promoters ask on the website where they explain the initiative. “We know what Facebook has done: allow incitement to violence against protesters fighting for racial justice in the United States,” they summarize.
The protest, seconded by more than 120 companies
“99% of the 70 billion euros that Facebook gets from ads,” specify the promoters of the initiative, and then challenge the companies that invest in it: “Who will the advertisers stand next to?” In total, according to this website, there are already more than 120 companies that have joined the list. Facebook tried to calm the mood on Friday when its vice president, Carolyn Everson, said the company was focused on “eliminating hate speech” and “providing critical information about the vote.” A message, however, that has not penetrated given that the advertising leak of companies continues.