Responding to a call by the US National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and other minorities rights groups for a boycott of Facebook due to its lack of action on hate speech, big corporations like Unilever and Coca Cola boycotted the social media giant and halted paid advertisement during July. As many as 1,000 brands joined the collective boycott, hashtagged #StopHateForProfit.
Morning Consult asked people if they think Facebook has done enough to respond to content moderation concerns and if brands should continue the boycott. The pollster also asked people how a brand's participation in the Facebook boycott impacted their attitude to that brand.
Findings show that 38 percent of respondents said Facebook had not done enough to address content deficiencies as opposed to 20 percent who think Facebook has done enough, and 33 percent said that brands should continue the boycott as opposed to 21 percent who think brands can resume adds. The largest share of respondents, just above 40 percent, had no opinion on either of these questions.
At the same time, consumers’ attitudes and purchasing habits have remained roughly the same, whether a brand participated in the boycott or not, findings showed.
The plurality of respondents — 44 percent — said the boycott had no impact on their attitude, while 22 percent said they began to favor brands more for joining the boycott and only 9 percent said they favored the brands less, whereas 24 percent of respondents offered no opinion.
The survey was conducted among 2,201 US adults with a margin of error of +/- 2 percent from 29 July - 2 August.
When the boycott just began, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg vowed to reconsider the company's policies on hate speech, violent content and disinformation. Industry experts talked billions of dollars in potential losses from withdrawn adds.
Facebook's reported second-quarter revenue of $18.7 billion did not appear much cut by revoked adds, but Morning Consult said because the boycott took place at the end of Q2 it would likely factor into revenue growth for the next quarter, which is due on 28 October.