Activists vow to widen Facebook ad boycott after Zuckerberg meeting – New York Post

An ad boycott against Facebook is threatening to get wider after a meeting over hate speech between Mark Zuckerberg and civil-rights groups fizzled.

The social network’s 36-year-old chief executive, along with his top lieutenant Sheryl Sandberg, met on Zoom Tuesday with the organizers of the monthlong boycott — which has attracted more than 400 advertisers including Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Microsoft — with hopes of showing them that Facebook was taking measures to clamp down on hate speech and misinformation.

But by the end of the meeting, organizers — which include the Anti-Defamation League, the National Association for the Advancement for Colored People and Color of Change — were signaling plans to turn up the heat.

“Instead of committing to a timeline to root out hate and disinformation on Facebook, the company’s leaders delivered the same old talking points to try to placate us without meeting our demands,” Free Press CEO Jessica J. Gonzalez said in a statement.

Gonzalez — who said Zuckerberg hemmed and hawed over demands for a top executive with a civil-rights background and regular independent audits — added that the organizations “will continue to expand the boycott until Facebook takes our demands seriously,” saying that Zuckerberg and Sandberg “have much work to do to make Facebook a better place for everyone.”

In a statement to The Post, a Facebook spokesperson called the meeting “an opportunity for us to hear from the campaign organizers and reaffirm our commitment to combating hate on our platform.”

“They want Facebook to be free of hate speech and so do we,” the spokesperson said. “We know we will be judged by our actions not by our words and are grateful to these groups and many others for their continued engagement.”

Earlier Tuesday, Sandberg had published a statement pledging that Facebook is going to implement unspecified recommendations from its recently-completed two-year civil rights audit, but insisted that the changes had nothing to do with the recent boycotts.

Sandberg wrote that the changes are coming “not for financial reasons or advertiser pressure, but because it is the right thing to do.”

Facebook finished the day up slightly, at $240.86.