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Facebook Fails to Appease Organizers of Ad Boycott

  • July 08, 2020

“Being a platform where everyone can make their voice heard is core to our mission, but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for people to spread hate,” she wrote. “It’s not.”

But the meeting itself was largely a retread of the “same conversation from the past two years,” in which Facebook executives have a pleasant dialogue, but then set “no actionable steps,” Derrick Johnson, chief executive of the N.A.A.C.P., said in an interview.

He said he was particularly disappointed that no Facebook executive had any specific answer or reply to their list of demands, aside from platitudes.

“Over the two years that the N.A.A.C.P. has been in conversation with Facebook, we’ve watched the dialogue blossom into nothingness,” Mr. Johnson said. “They lack this cultural sensitivity to understand that their platform is actually being used to cause harm, or they understand the harm that the platform is causing and they have chosen to take the profit as opposed to protecting the people.”

Later on Tuesday, the Facebook executives met with another group of civil rights experts, including Vanita Gupta from the Leadership Conference on Civil Human Rights.

Ms. Gupta said in an interview after that voter suppression and misinformation on the platform were “still not being adequately addressed.” She added that Facebook faced multiple pressure points from the boycott and its own employees, meaning that “the asks of the civil rights community are unified, but there are different strategies being deployed.”

There are questions as to how effective the ad boycott will ultimately be in moving Facebook to make changes. In a private meeting last week with employees, Mr. Zuckerberg said he expected advertisers to eventually return to purchasing ads on the platform.

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