TOBY SHAPSHAK: Hate issue costs Facebook billions
Advertisers have found their moral backbone and are forcing the company to take its systemic problems seriously
Fifty-six billion dollars. That’s how much Facebook’s share price lost on Friday after news that consumer giant Unilever would pull its advertising for the rest of the year. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s personal wealth took a $7bn hit.
After years of ignoring its biggest problem, Facebook is finally confronted by its inability to control disinformation, hate speech and the insidious rise of posts relating to white supremacy (and all its viciousness) on its platform. Years of promises to do better and to fix problems — by bringing in external fact checkers and deleting malicious and bot accounts — haven’t stopped controversies from rocking the world’s biggest social network. As Star Wars character Yoda has always said: trying is not doing.