Advertisers Are Leaving Facebook En Masse

Unsplash/Kon Karampelas


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Facebook’s feeling the heat, after some of its larger advertisers decided to close their pocketbooks in response to FB’s policy on hate speech in advertisements. Woah, heavy.

Heavy hitters like Starbucks, Verizon, Unilever, Coca-Cola, and Honda all hit pause on their ad dollars following a call to boycott that was led by the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP. For reference, Unilever alone spent more than $42M on Facebook ads last year.

Both the NAACP, the ADL, and just about everybody else, took issue with the fact that Zuckerberg has done nothing to curb the misinformation being spread on his platform. In Zuck’s defense, robots aren’t great at identifying sarcasm. 

Someone’s listening

After the call for boycotts began to take hold, it sounds like Zuck got the message. Or at least whatever part wasn’t behind a CAPTCHA wall. 

Facebook announced on Friday that it would be “labeling” political speech that violates its rules but is still deemed newsworthy while taking “other measures” to prevent voter suppression and abuse of minorities. What does that even mean, Mark? Sh*t or get off the pot.

On the news of the boycotts, Facebook shares fell 8.3%, which cut $56B off of Facebook’s market share, and more than $7B from Zuck’s net worth. Oh, so that’s the message he got. Loud and clear.

The bottom line…

Facebook wasn’t the only platform to get caught in the crossfire. It appears that people are over the wishy-washy actions of social platforms across the board. Twitter was the other main boycott target, with its share price falling 7% on Friday after Unilever included @Jack and the boys in its boycott of social advertising. Getting lumped in with Mark Zuckerberg is rarely a good thing, unless we’re talking net worth. 

Water Cooler Talking Point(s)

💧 “Honestly, we should just make Facebook illegal. I don’t care how many discount end tables you’ve found on Marketplace, this is for the greater good. (AJ, The Water Coolest HQ)


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The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.