Facebook’s early investors accuse major advertisers of “turning a blind eye” to Facebook’s troubles – .

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Facebook’s early investors accuse major advertisers of “turning a blind eye” to Facebook’s troubles – .



“What they’re doing is willfully turning a blind eye to catastrophic problems that wouldn’t exist if they weren’t willing to advertise on these platforms,” ​​McNamee, one of the Facebook’s first investors. “Big advertisers have a lot of guilt here. “

McNamee, who started counseling Facebook (FB) Co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in early 2006 said the problem is that the vast majority of companies prioritize maximizing shareholder value over what’s good for the company.

“They allowed themselves to become addicted to the convenience of products, so they took it on,” said McNamee, co-founder of venture capital firm Elevation Partners.

Facebook generated $ 28.3 billion in advertising revenue in the third quarter alone, the company said on Monday. That’s a 33% increase from a year ago and underscores the vast scale of a platform that has 1.9 billion daily active users.

“Facebook is terrible, but I have to maximize shareholder value, so I have to use it. They tell themselves it’s not their fault. It’s really from Facebook. No, it’s your fault, ”McNamee said.

“More work to do”

The comments come after a consortium of 17 US news agencies began publishing articles based on the Facebook Papers, a mine of hundreds of internal documents that were included in disclosures made to the Securities and Exchange Commission and provided to the Congress in drafted form by Facebook whistleblower Frances. Haugen’s legal advisor. The consortium, which includes CNN, reviewed the drafted versions received by Congress.

CNN’s coverage includes stories of how coordinated groups on Facebook are sowing discord and violence, including January 6, as well as Facebook’s challenges to moderate content in some non-English speaking countries, and how traffickers are humans have used its platforms to exploit people.

In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said that “the company’s work on safety and security is the most comprehensive effort to eliminate hate speech from any large mainstream tech company.”

“We have over 40,000 people focused on this topic and we are on track to spend over $ 5 billion on safety and security in 2021. While we still have work to do, we remain committed to doing well. things, ”the Facebook spokesperson said.

Sonnenfeld: “They must break the ties”

Yet Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor at the Yale School of Management who regularly speaks to CEOs on controversial topics, called on business leaders to act following recent disclosures on Facebook.

“They must sever ties because they are tacitly complicit in some of the worst human atrocities, human rights abuses and subversion of democracy,” Sonnenfeld told CNN on Monday.

But big companies aren’t Facebook’s only source of ad revenue. Countless small businesses rely on Facebook to reach their customers. And these small businesses may not have the luxury of saying goodbye to Facebook’s unparalleled reach.

This means that Facebook is no longer dependent on the huge ad spending of big brands. It has an army of small advertisers to lean on.

Another boycott?

Hundreds of companies joined an advertising boycott of Facebook last year organized by Stop Hate for Profit, a campaign that aimed to hold the company accountable for failures to tackle incitement to violence on the platform.

“You can review one,” said McNamee, who advises Stop Hate for Profit, of a possible Facebook ad boycott. “I wouldn’t rule it out. “

Former Zuckerberg advisor: Facebook's problem is its business model

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, which helped launch Stop Hate for Profit, told CNN on Monday that the ADL was in talks with members of its coalition to “explore the appropriate response” to Facebook Papers. “There are things advertisers can do to show their displeasure,” Greenblatt said.

Although many companies have resumed advertising on Facebook after taking a hiatus last year during the boycott, some brands have not returned.

Patagonia told CNN on Monday that it had stopped advertising on Facebook and Instagram in June 2020 and did not plan to resume advertising spending on the platforms.

Advertisers “have leverage,” McNamee said. “They just choose not to use it. “

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