Facebook is under pressure from advertisers to act against hate speech on its platform, as part of a “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign.
Major brands are suspending their advertisements on Facebook in an effort to force the tech behemoth to address proliferating hate speech.
Among the brands who have joined the campaign are Coca Cola, Unilever, Verizon and Honda US.
However, concerns have been raised as to double standards regarding which hate speech is rightly banned from social media platforms and which hate speech, wrongly, is not banned. For example, the broadcaster Maajid Nawaz has observed that antisemitism – particularly when it emanates from the far-left, Islamist terrorist groups and minority users like Louis Farrakhan – is given a free ride.
Stephen Silverman, Director of Investigations and Enforcement at Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “Withdrawing advertising revenue from online platforms works. It forces them to stop finding excuses and change their behaviour — we have been doing this for years; for example we just forced Urban Dictionary to remove an abhorrent antisemitic term of abuse. Tech platforms already successfully prevent the posting of certain types of content such as copyright works and child pornography. The failure to address the proliferating antisemitic and racist content on Facebook is therefore a failure of willpower. Vile antisemitic content on these platforms is not hard to find and it is a reason that the far-left, Islamist groups and the far-right, are so able not only to intimidate Jewish users but also incite the kind of violence that has left a trail of bodies in the real world, from Pittsburgh to Poway.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.