Accuracy in Media

A boycott to punish Facebook for what critics label its improper handling of hate speech and disinformation has drawn little support from top advertisers, so CNN has stepped in to name and shame them into participating.

Fewer than half the top 100 advertisers and only three of the top 25 plan to participate in the boycott of Facebook and sister company Instagram, which means “the ongoing boycott may have a limited impact on Facebook’s bottom line, at least as it stands right now,” Brian Fung and Kaya Yurieff reported for CNN Business under “Hundreds of brands are pulling ads from Facebook. Its largest advertisers are not among them.”

North Face, Pfizer and Levi Strauss are in, CNN reported, but Walmart, American Express and Home Depot, Facebook’s biggest spender for ads, are out so far.

Most of the top 25 advertisers have said nothing about the boycott, CNN reported.

Walmart, Uber, Netflix, Domino’s, American Express, and AT&T, which owns CNN’s parent company, have failed to commit to the boycott, CNN reported.

Home Depot said it was “evaluating steps,” as did Wells Fargo. Proctor & Gamble, which said it withholds advertising from thousands of sites because “they do not meet the company’s standards,” has launched a “comprehensive review” of Facebook’s policies before it commits to a boycott, which is expected to last only through July.

Uber did not comment, but the story noted the firm had begun a new social media and TV ad campaign related not to hate speech and disinformation but to urge customers to wear masks while riding.

Facebook generated nearly $70 billion in ad revenue last year, mostly from small and medium-sized businesses, and its top 100 advertisers represent just 6 percent of its revenues. But Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg agreed to participate in a meeting of the groups that organized the boycott.

“For now, at least, the dialogue will go on without the involvement of many of the companies Facebook and Zuckerberg might be the most scared to lose,” CNN concluded.

An editor’s note at the end says “The story’s original headline – “These are the big brands that haven’t pulled ads from Facebook yet” – has been revised to better reflect that, as the article notes, many of the biggest advertisers on Facebook have not pulled ads, and the effectiveness of the boycott is limited as a result.”


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