The Situation


As many of you have seen in the news these past weeks, many voices have called for businesses to remove their ad business on Facebook and other social media platforms during the month of July in response to the civil rights movements occurring across the world, stating that “Facebook has not done enough to stop racism across its platform”.


While the validity of these claims will be argued, what we are sure of is that this news is also visible to our clients and they may have some questions as to whether or not they should be spending advertising dollars on Facebook.


Our Agency View


It goes without saying that the community at Generator Media + Analytics stands against hate in any form. As an agency, we make purposeful decisions to work with brands, vendors, and employees that share our view.


Additionally, we believe it is not our role to decide on behalf of our clients whether a boycott of Facebook is appropriate or not. At this time, Generator Media + Analytics will remain unbiased in this regard, not prescribing direction to our clients as to pause or remain active within these platforms.


If an agency client does choose to remove ad spend from the platform during July, our media teams will provide the best possible guidance and execution as to where these dollars will best be re-allocated during this period to achieve the required results.


Facebook’s Response


“As your partner, I wanted to reach out to make sure you are getting up-to-date information from us directly. Recent events have continued to expose the racism and injustice that exist in our society, particularly for the Black community and we at Facebook are committed to doing more.


Last week, we were made aware that a group of Civil Rights organizations are calling for businesses to pause advertising and posting on Facebook during the month of July 2020. We remain open to meeting with any of these organizations and welcome feedback on the issues they have raised, just as we continue to solicit feedback from our civil rights auditors. We stand against racism and in support of the Black community and all those fighting for equality and justice every single day. We have a responsibility to keeping people safe and we plan to take action through Improving our Products, Programs and Policies, Investing in Communities of Color, Supporting Organizations Fighting for Racial Justice, Elevating Black Voices and Stories, and Building a More Diverse and Inclusive Workforce. You can read the full details on Where We Stand here which includes more context on those items mentioned above.


There are competing pressures every day when managing a platform. Our focus is to act on what is most important: removing hate speech and content that harms communities while using our platform for efforts like providing authoritative voting information and registering people to vote.


Specifically, regarding hate speech, we know hate speech is a weapon often wielded by those in a privileged majority. We recognize that we have to work harder than ever to ensure those whose voices are the most historically marginalized have the opportunity to make their voices heard. For us, this means having the strongest policies against hate and the most advanced technologies in the world to remove it. We don’t tolerate hate speech and remove it whenever we find it. We have been working on improving our detection capabilities and in our last report, we removed 89% of content for violating our hate speech policies before anyone reported it to us – up from 23% in 2017. We are of course not stopping here, and will look to continue to build on the strides we have made in the last few years.


Your partnership and feedback continue to be deeply appreciated, and your business means a lot. Please [contact your Facebook Ads representative] if you would like to discuss this response or provide any additional feedback.”


Additional Resources

  • Full details of Facebook’s actions taken from Mark Zuckerberg can be found here.
  • Specific brand statements can be found here.
  • Full list of companies pausing Facebook Ads can be found here.