While met with a mostly positive response, the Stop Hate for Profit initiative has also raised concerns in some quarters about censorship and free speech, with fears that a campaign with nothing but the best of intentions may degenerate into censoring all kinds of content, depending on who is imbued with the authority to do the censoring.
Several high-profile executives have called for the social-media giant to do more to combat the spread of misinformation and hate speech on its platform. We already do not pay for advertising via Facebook but are considering abandoning their platform and related services such as Instagram. "We will continue to discuss with media partners how they will deal with unacceptable content", the spokesperson added.
"We know we have more work to do, and we'll continue to work with civil rights groups, GARM, and other experts to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight".
Facebook's website says "we remove hate speech, harassment, threats of violence and other content that has the potential to silence others or cause harm".
Facebook makes $70bn in annual advertising revenue while "amplifying the messages of white supremacists" and "permitting incitement to violence", according to the campaign.
For Facebook, which also owns Instagram, advertising is the single most important source of money, bringing in nearly all revenue - or close to $70 billion - past year.
And while most of the 184 companies on the boycott * a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VSGhDwXm18yFf2BVCz0QJYFjCHrPhDuO-m5rCo0zoqI/htmlview?pru=AAABcyPgxSs*T6wcjzjzSikohiDqdkSuyA#gid=0" *list as of Monday morning are not large, it would "likely take tens of thousands of [smaller advertisers], acting over a significant period of time, to put a big dent in Facebook's bottom line", noted CNN Business' Brian Fung.
But the publicity around its hate speech policies have hurt its perception and stock. As a result, Zuckerberg's net worth depleted to $82.3 billion. The campaign also alleged that Facebook had "turned a blind eye to blatant voter suppression" on its platform, adding that while Facebook could protect and support Black users as well as call out Holocaust denial as hate, it is "actively choosing not to do so". What steps do you think we should take? "We need comprehensive policy". "The investments we have made in AI mean that we find almost 90% of Hate Speech we action before users report it to us, while a recent European Union report found Facebook assessed more hate speech reports in 24 hours than Twitter and YouTube". It asks advertisers to pressure the tech giant to adopt stricter policies against racist and hateful content on its platforms by pausing all spending on advertising with the company for the month of July.
Over the past two weeks, brands such as Unilever, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Verizon announced they were pausing ads on Facebook, with some extending it to other social media platforms.