Already under siege by its own far-left employees, Facebook is now facing pressure from another quarter: woke corporations, who are withdrawing ad dollars in the hopes that it will force Mark Zuckerberg to censor President Trump.
The New York Times reports that digital advertisers want less free speech on Facebook, a platform that has already engaged in heavy political censorship.
Via the Times:
“We harshly disagree with how Facebook has approached this,” said Mr. Gardideh, the co-founder of Pearmill, a New York marketing agency with a dozen clients, mostly tech start-ups. “For the past couple of years, this problem has become bigger and bigger. These massive platforms have to care about free speech issues to some extent, but Facebook is on the extreme end of not caring.”
“I think this is Facebook’s time of reckoning,” said Dave Morgan, the chief executive of Simulmedia, a company that works with advertisers on targeted television advertising. “It may not be immediate or dramatic, but advertisers have given Facebook a lot of passes and now we are hearing they are saying it will be harder to stand back.”
Last week, Braze, a software company in New York, withdrew a Facebook ad campaign it had planned later this summer valued at around $60,000. Its chief marketing officer, Sara Spivey, said Facebook’s decision to leave presidential statements untouched factored into the decision.
The left, political elites, and the establishment media have a history of using the advertising industry to pressure Facebook and other social media companies, which depend on it for much of its revenues.
In 2017, just weeks after President Trump’s inauguration, the CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), a global network for companies involved in digital advertising, told the organization’s annual conference that the organization needed to do more to pressure social media companies to tackle “fake news.”
“…you have no choice but to accept that what you do matters,” said the CEO. “By engineering something, by selling it, by buying it, by deploying it, by working with it, each of us, in some small way, is responsible for it, and for every human and every human institution that depends on it.”
In 2018, the CEO made similar remarks, warning that 2018 could be a year of backlash against big tech companies if they did not address “fake news” and “hate” on their platforms.
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Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.