- Mark Zuckerberg got $7.2 billion poorer as various brands pause their social media ads in support of the ongoing anti-racist movement.
As a wave of businesses removed ads from Facebook Inc’s network, Mark Zuckerberg got $7.2 billion poorer.
Social media company shares fell 8.3 percent on Friday, most in three months after Unilever, one of the world’s largest advertisers, joined other brands in boycotting social media ads. Unilever said this year it will stop investing money on the properties for Facebook.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the share price decline cut $56 billion from the market value of Facebook and brought Zuckerberg’s net worth down to $82.3 billion. That also pushed the Chief Executive Officer of Facebook down one knot to fourth place, overtaken by Louis Vuitton boss Bernard Arnault, who along with Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates was elevated to one of the three richest people in the world.
Industries from Verizon Communications Inc. to Hershey Co. have stopped social media ads after critics said Facebook had struggled to talk and misinformation on the site enough to control hate speech.
Zuckerberg responded to the growing criticism of misinformation on the site on Friday, announcing that the company would mark all poll-related posts with a link that invites users to look at its new voter information portal. Facebook has extended the definition of illegal hate speech by introducing a provision specifying that no ads would be tolerated if they mark another audience as harmful.
“There are no exceptions in any of the initiatives that I am introducing here today for lawmakers,” Zuckerberg said.
Beverages Major Coca-Cola has agreed to suspend its paid ads on all social media worldwide for thirty days in the wake of mass protests against racism around the world. The business declared, releasing a statement, that there is “no position of bigotry on social media” and that it would now reassess its advertisement policies.
The statement released on June 27, confirmed that all of its social media partners expect “greater accountability and transparency.” The statement was undersigned by James Quincey, the company’s president, and CEO. The declaration will take effect from July 1.
Facebook and Twitter shares were down more than 7 percent in mid-day trading Friday after Unilever announced for the rest of the year it would pull its ads from social media firms. Facebook and Twitter shares were down more than 7 percent in mid-day trading Friday after Unilever announced for the rest of the year it would pull its ads from social media firms.
The decision by the massive household goods firm was driven by concerns on the platforms about hate speech and divisive content, it said. Not long after the announcement by Unilever, Procter & Gamble — some of the world’s biggest advertisers — reportedly said it would withdraw ads from sites hosting material that was “hateful” or “discriminatory.”
This move shows that brands are taking racism more seriously and focusing more on holding moral values. It’s high time that social media platforms take control and scrutinize the hate speech and discrimination in the content on their respective platforms.