Earlier this month, several prominent civil rights groups organized an advertiser boycott of Facebook over its handling of hate speech and content moderation. So far, this “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign has been a wild success, with massive companies like Verizon agreeing to pull their ads. And according to leaked audio from a conference call with advertisers, Facebook seems to know it’s in trouble.
On the call, Facebook’s head of trust and safety policy Neil Potts tried to reassure advertisers and listen to their concerns. According to Potts, he was asked by an advertiser “why we should risk our brands’ reputation by staying on your platform?” He was also asked how it was possible to “[reconcile] the loss of faith in Facebook as a trustworthy source of information.”
“There is a trust deficit. You try to make a decision and people disagree and maybe that builds that deficit even deeper,” Potts continued.
It’s a good thing that Facebook recognizes it needs to work to re-earn the trust of its users and advertisers. However, it shouldn’t take a financial scare for the company to realize that it needs to rein in hate speech and be more transparent about its policies.
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