The Facebook advertising boycott has changed everyone's favorite social media platform forever
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Sometimes a boycott succeeds when it fails.

Although the general aim of a boycott is to hurt profits, there are times when the symbolism of a boycott gives birth to a constant, overt and irreversible new optic for a company to nurse.

When the boycott of Facebook began in June and reached its peak in July, it gathered thousands of brands who vocalized their dissatisfaction with the platform.

The boycott, under the hashtag #StopHateForProfit, was launched by civil rights groups. By July brands were fully behind removing their ad spending - resulting in a small financial dent for the social media juggernaut, but a forceful bludgeoning in the press.



Although Facebook still saw growth during the boycott, the social network was left with no choice but to address its own long standing apathy towards hate speech and disinformation. With copious amounts of money constantly flowing through the company, it's clear that in many ways the Facebook executive team see their reputation among activists and the public as a more elusive form of intangible capital.

Intangible capital that they cannot afford to burn through at the rate they currently are.

Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg once again attempted to rebuff the assertions that Facebook has done little to stem hate speech and misinformation on their platform.

"Some seem to wrongly assume that most of the content on our services is about politics, news, misinformation or hate," Zuckerberg said.

"These make up a small part of the content on our services, although they are all things that people generally tell us they'd like to see even less of. We do not profit from misinformation or hate," he continued.

"We completely agree that we don't want hate on our platforms, and we stand firmly against it," Sandberg said. "We don't benefit from hate speech. We never have. Users don't want to see it. Advertisers don't want to be associated with it."

This is a lie.

Many of Facebooks top performing posts, advertisements and public figures peddle a deluge of white supremacy, conspiracy theories, homophobia, misogyny, death threats, coronavirus misinformation and just about every other form of information that can be mangled and weaponized for public consumption.

However, Facebook has more recently made one symbolic step towards something resembling integrity.

Facebook took down a video posted by the Trump campaign in which he claimed children were "virtually immune" to the coronavirus. This is generally regarded by the majority of health experts as completely false and flies in the face of any basic level of logical thought. The reason for it being removed from Facebook was due to it being in violation of the social network's rules against misinformation about coronavirus. This represents a positive small step forward for the social media giant, a small step in a marathon of decency that should have been started over a decade ago.

The boycott began what will be a series of future reality checks for Facebook, as they can no longer plead ignorance or impartiality. In a statement, the boycott organizers said, "This movement will not go away until Facebook makes the reasonable changes that society wants. The ad pause in July was not a full campaign — it was a warning shot across Facebook's bow."

The fact is, despite what Zuckerberg and Sandberg would have you believe, that Facebook is molding the national consciousness and finds itself dangerously close to irrevocably poisoning the body politic.

There is a small window within which to salvage what integrity remains, but consistently denying their own faults does nothing to begin this vital process.

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

Keep Reading Show less

Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

Keep Reading Show less

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

Keep Reading Show less