Zuckerberg to meet civil rights groups that organised ad boycott

Daniel Fowler
July 4, 2020

In his most direct response so far to the boycott - which is costing Facebook millions of dollars and is backed by huge firms including Marmite maker Unilever - Zuckerberg vowed not to give in to demands of campaigners seeking to make the business more accountable.

On Wednesday, Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs and communications, tried to reassure businesses that Facebook "does not benefit from hate" and said the company has every incentive to remove hate speech from its service.

"During the month of July, we will pause social media advertisements and work with the platforms to identify, develop, and implement necessary changes", Albertsons said in its statement.

Civil rights advocates are pushing Facebook to do more, including removing content and groups that promote hate and disinformation, allowing outside audits of its content and advertising policy, and giving advertisers refunds if their ads run alongside content that was removed because it violated the company's policies.

Zuckerberg is due to meet with the boycott's organisers himself after negotiations with lower-ranking executives stalled.

French lead European-wide bust after decrypting criminal network
"Op Venetic" targeted organised crime groups operating using encrypted technology in a bid to evade law enforcement. The Europe-wide operation also involved Europol - the agency responsible for law enforcement cooperation in the EU.

Facebook has responded with some changes but will it be enough? Facebook's digital advertising accounted for over 98 per cent of the company's almost $70 billion in revenue a year ago.

Desjardins Group, Canada's largest federation of credit unions, also said on its website on Thursday it will pause advertising on Facebook and Instagram for the month "barring any exceptional situations where we need to communicate with our members or clients".

The Washington Post reported the meeting would take place Monday.

Zuckerberg said Facebook receives a large portion of its advertising revenue from small companies, not large brands.

Clegg, however, offered few concessions, and instead repeated Zuckerberg's frequent talking point that "the only way to hold the powerful to account is ultimately through the ballot box". He covers business and growth issues.

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