The social network’s 36-year-old founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg will meet with the civil rights figures spearheading the push to get advertisers to jump ship from Facebook, the company said.
Zuckerberg’s planned meeting comes after company executives Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s Vice President of global business solutions; and Neil Potts, the site’s public policy director, held at least two meetings with advertisers Tuesday on the eve of the high-profile one-month boycott, according to Reuters.
Everson and Potts offered no new details on how Facebook would fight hate speech, however, and left advertisers frustrated by repeatedly referring to recent press releases where they touted that Facebook catches 90 percent of all hate speech on its platform before it is ever reported.
Zuckerberg agreed to a meeting after it was requested by the organizers of the “Stop Hate For Profit” boycott.
“They asked about having Mark at the meeting, and we’ve since confirmed that Mark is able to join,” the company told CNN Business in a statement. “We’re waiting to hear back and look forward to the opportunity to continue the dialogue.”
More than 400 brands pulled their ads from Facebook’s platform beginning Wednesday, including Starbucks, Microsoft and Unilever, in support of advocates’ demands for the company to more aggressively tackle hate speech and misinformation.
In a leaked transcript of an internal Facebook town hall from last Friday obtained by The Information, Zuckerberg struck a defiant tone, telling employees that the site wouldn’t change its policies “because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue, or to any percent of our revenue.”
“My guess is that these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough,” he said.
Zuckerberg also bemoaned the way that boycotters were going about trying to spark change, saying that Facebook would not be strong-armed.
“Usually I tend to think that if someone goes out there and threatens you to do something, that actually kind of puts you in a box where in some ways it’s even harder to do what they want because now it looks like you’re capitulating,” Zuckerberg said, according to the report.
Indeed, according to Hatch, the content on Facebook simply reflects the views of the people who use the platform.
“There are 3 billion people around the world that use our platforms,” Hatch said. “Of course, there is a small minority of those that are hateful and that’s because as much as we do our very best — and there’s always more that we can do and we will do — but when there’s hate in the world, there will also be hate on Facebook.”
Facebook this week agreed to a brand safety audit, and said it will make its “partner and content monetization policies” as well as “brand safety controls” available to the Media Rating Council.
A representative for Facebook did not respond to The Post’s request for comment.
Shares of Facebook finished up 4.6 percent Wednesday, at $237.55.
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