For several years now social media giant, Facebook, has been under the microscope following privacy concerns, political propaganda campaigns and now for spreading misinformation. In light of the Black Lives Matter movement and impending U.S. election, civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, have issued a call-to-action referred to as “#StopHateForProfit.” The campaign calls for major brands to suspend advertising on Facebook during the month of July.
“It is clear that Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, are no longer simply negligent, but in fact, complacent in the spread of misinformation, despite the irreversible damage to our democracy,” the NAACP shared in a statement.
In turn, a mass exodus of brands have boycotted the platform including the likes of Coca-Cola Co., Verizon Communications Inc., Honda Motors, Hershey Co., Arc’teryx, The North Face, Patagonia, Eddie Bauer, JanSport, Levi Strauss, Starbucks, Ben & Jerry’s, and REI. And for Unilever, they have vowed not to use the platform for the remainder of 2020.
So what has that done for Facebook’s financial status? Well, according to Bloomberg, the movement has cost Mark Zuckerberg $7.2 billion USD (or $10.4 billion AUD) so far. Facebook’s shared fell 8.2 percent on Friday which caused the market value to plummet by $56 million USD (or $81 million AUD). Zuckerberg’s worth is now sitting at $82.3 billion USD (or $119.9 billion AUD).
Since the controversy, the CEO announced that Facebook would add a link to all voting-related posts to investigate its new voter information hub to get the facts straight. In addition, any advertisements labelling another demographic as dangerous will not be allowed on the social media platform.