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#StopHateforProfit: What Pundits Get Wrong About the Facebook Ad Boycott

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/07/02/stophateforprofit-what-pundits-get-wrong-about-facebook-ad-boycott

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The boycott should include users too. Leave the platform. Unface!

But Facebook lies about user totals. I haven’t used my account in over 8 years but am still considered active by Facebook so that I’m included in totals. Why? To attract advertisers with the dizzying total. I can’t even access my Facebook account since it was long ago email account.

But until users quit Facebook in larger numbers, Zuckerberg will still be king social media autocrat.

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Oh, the irony. For years activists vilified “Brands” and the corporations that controlled them. In her best selling books Naomi Klein denounce the marketing power of “Brands” and the influence they held over over our lives. Now, the “Brands” are suppose to save us from so-called hate-speech by using that very marketing power that has for so long been denounced as evil. Oh, the irony.

And if this effort to demonetize Facebook is successful, who’s next? Perhaps those who decry the influence of “Brands”?

Any collective pressure people of conscience can bring to bear on hatred, bigotry, racism and environmental destruction must be used and supported. Only in unity may we fight the ignorance and teaching of hate and bigorty so much a part of the world - some places and cultures more than others.

One important aspect of the struggle against hate and bigotry is explored in the linked piece; it is very well done, IMO. and timely.

The struggles of identity young people experience have been used by those that hate are difficult, but in some the freedom and beauty of understanding has led to their liberation - if only society can allow it.

~https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2020/06/jk-rowling-transphobia-feminism

~https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/01/young-trans-children-know-who-they-are/580366/ - background article

Zuckerberg’s “do no harm” mantra has succumbed to the money god.

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The business model of FB is the epitomy of capitalist exploitation. Never did FB, never will.

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It’s about branding. No more; but certainly no less. To large, well-known corporations, brand is everything. Once damaged, it can almost never be fixed.

The companies pulling their advertising from Facebook have spent, cumulatively, hundreds of billions of dollars over the years investing in and building their brands.

Diageo, Ford, Honda, Unilever, Verizon, and all the other companies haven’t suddenly become overwhelmed with concern for the quality of popular discourse.

They’re seeing that Facebook’s reputation as a brand itself is taking major hits. Zuckerberg and his team aren’t taking the situation seriously. Facebook is looking bad and so is being associated with Facebook.

It’s also possible that there’s no way to fix what ails today’s social media platforms. What makes them popular is accessibility, and that also makes them uniquely susceptible to being used to disseminate hate and lies. The sheer volume of content makes it difficult to screen, and the subjective issues involved are staggering.

The Yes-but Pundits have missed the tipping point, when being associated with Facebook’s brand became a net-negative for people trying to market their own brands to the people they want to sell stuff too.