Just a few weeks ago, humanitarian brands like the North Face has decided to suspend their advertisements on the social media giant Facebook. This is after finding their advertisements being tagged or posted on hate speech content. Many brands are appalled by this discovery and immediately followed suit at temporarily suspending advertisements. Soon, big named brands like Honda, Coca-Cola, and Unilever (among others) decided to also suspend their advertisement on the platform. Thus, the #StopHateforProfit movement was created.
This is not the first time Facebook was canceled by many brands and users. The company has its own fair share of blunders and controversy. However, this might be the only time when Facebook is seriously threatened, especially financially. Earlier this week, Facebook CEO has announced all changes that would be made to address the current issues.
Now, many bloggers and influencers are nervous that the widespread Facebook ad boycott will severely affect them. However, from the current developments, it looks like they would not be affected much. So, should all these current events worry bloggers and influencers?
Why did the Facebook Ad Boycott happen?
What many people don’t know is that Facebook earns billions of dollars annually just on advertisement alone. Since the platform is one of the biggest and most powerful in the world, it is only logical that big named brands invest a portion of their advertising budgets on Facebook. With billions of users and account holders, it is one of the platforms that could reach demographics of almost any culture, race, gender, or religion – anywhere in the world.
The widespread Facebook ad boycott happened as an effect of Facebook not immediately banning Trump’s campaign ads that contain Nazi imagery and hate speech. This has appalled many brands and users all over the world. More reports of similar incidents where hate speech, racism, and other forms of discrimination also came out.
Pros and Cons of Facebook Ad Boycott to Bloggers
The popularity of Facebook to users is one of the major selling points of the platform, not only for big brands but for indie bloggers and influencers as well. Facebook provides a platform for influencers and bloggers to publish their content and gain significant organic traffic. These bloggers and influencers can use forums within Facebook to further increase their popularity, reach, and influence.
One benefit of the Facebook ad boycott is the fact that businesses could rely on blogs and influencers to advertise their brands. This is great for indie bloggers and influencers who rely on advertisements to boost earnings. The advertisement offers from big named brands are good opportunities for any blogger or influencer. Aside from boosting earnings, this could increase their credibility and popularity.
On the other hand, the Facebook ad boycott also has cons for bloggers and influencers. If the ad boycott continues, it could affect Facebook’s future finances. Although the chances are slim, there are possibilities of Facebook closing down in the future (if this continues). The next worst thing that could happen is when the #StopHateforProfit movement starts to lobby the users to uninstall the app. This is a greater threat not only for Facebook but indie bloggers and influencers as well.
Remember, Facebook also owns multiple social media platforms including Instagram. All of these benefits thousands of bloggers and influencers all over the world. The worst thing that could happen is that bloggers and influencers lose one important platform for publishing new content. Since the reach of both Facebook and Instagram is high, building up organic traffic for influencers and bloggers can become difficult.
All considering, bloggers, and influencers are not so much affected by the current ad boycott. This is as long as both Facebook and Instagram are still running,
Overall effects of the Facebook Ad Boycott
The goal of the boycott is not to cancel Facebook altogether. Instead, what organizers want in the end would be some change within the platform’s algorithms. The most important of which is to easily detect hate speech against people because of their gender, race, or religion. Not only should Facebook be able to detect hate speech on their platform, but they must also be able to prevent any advertisement within these kinds of content. At least, brands should be able to report incidents when their advertisements appear in any content containing hate speech. They must also be able to request for a workable refund or compensation.
All supporters of the #StopHateforProfit movement have lobbied for big companies to suspend their ads on Facebook only for the month of July. All considering, this is merely a small fraction of Facebook’s quarterly earnings from advertisements. This means that, in the long run, Facebook will surely be able to recover.
There are thousands of celebrities, influencers, and bloggers on social media nowadays and the content they create is varied. Is it virtually impossible to screen these social media contents to distinguish any dangerous information or posts? The most that could happen is that Facebook creates a stricter and more detailed algorithm that could tag any post as dangerous or malicious content. It is possible, in the long run, that content posted by influencers and bloggers can be tagged or reported to contain hate speech or other malicious content.
Author: Sangalang Kristine
Civil Engineer by profession, Writer by passion. Serving readers since 2014 on different niches like Science, Current Events, Tech, and Travel.