President of Health Platforms, Verily
Color of Change
Civil-rights groups including Color Of Change, the Anti-Defamation League, and the NAACP helped organize the biggest threat to Facebook’s dominance of the digital ad industry as hundreds of brands from Unilever to Starbucks joined the groups’ #StopHateForProfit campaign and pulled their ads from the platform for one month or more.
The campaign has resulted in a ton of bad press for Facebook and led it to make major concessions, including hiring an SVP of civil rights and directing users toward accurate information about voting.
Color Of Change president Rashad Robinson first met with Facebook leadership in 2015 over the doxxing of Black Lives Matter organizers.
Robinson says two turning points came — first in 2018, when The New York Times revealed that Facebook had hired a PR firm to help discredit Color Of Change, and earlier this year, when spokesman Nick Clegg announced that Facebook would not fact-check or censor politicians’ ads — even those that appeared to incite violence.
At that point, Robinson said he realized it was time to act on the ad boycott.
Robinson thinks Congress should develop rules to guide Facebook’s content policies. But for now, he wants advertisers to speak with their wallets and exert greater control over the world’s most powerful media platform.
"You’re not going to win on the boycott because of their business model, but you have to hurt them enough to make it worth it,” Robinson says.