Now the beverage icon is going to pause paid and organic posts on all social media platforms globally for at least 30 days, effective July 1. Chairman and CEO, James Quincey, says a dedicated cross-functional and cross-continental team will review the company’s Responsible Digital Media Principles, agency partner industry principles, and other partner agreement terms and conditions to see what, if any, changes need to be made.
If Facebook Only Had a Powerful Ombudsman
What do financial reporters make of this move by the world’s most iconic beverage brand? They’re concerned about what it means for Facebook’s stock value.
Like so many people with common sense, the reporters want Facebook to make itself a better media company.
It starts with admitting that you are, in fact, a media company. Once Facebook is made to go there, they can move to media’s ethical frameworks and beyond.
Coke Is Not Alone In this New Facebook-based Distancing
Starbucks and Diageo (the world’s largest spirits company) are now joining July’s “all social media” advertising boycott.
Diageo statement on social media advertising pause. pic.twitter.com/kRIsdFjgzk
— Diageo News (@Diageo_News) June 27, 2020
The three beverage giants, plus Unilever, Ford Motor Co., and many more are putting the kind of pressure on Facebook—a clear monopoly—that the government will not. This is good.
Will Facebook bend and then mend? The incentive is there from a PR point-of-view. But the lost revenue is not significant enough to do real damage to Facebook. If these same brands also removed all ads from Instagram and WhatsApp, and also deleted their accounts altogether, that might get Mark’s attention. Otherwise, I expect the same neocon response of no response. That’s how power behaves. The people and forces in society make power bend and change or power remains firmly committed to whatever abuses they’ve been able to commit for years/decades/centuries on end.
The framing of this July withdrawal is a corporate “gut check.”
Due to the spread of disinformation on these platforms, brands are now explicitly saying they don’t want to fund that shit. Okay, good. What’s hard to comprehend is how AD FRAUD didn’t bring Coke’s MBAs to the platforms’ front door knockers much earlier. Brands like Coke have sacrificed unknown hundreds of millions to the ad fraud beast. Why? And why continue to do so now?
FACT: Coca-Cola has 106,283,517 on Facebook
Why Make Twitter and Others Suffer Lost Revenue Too?
Twitter started labeling Trump’s most egregious lies as questionable content. But they haven’t taken his account down for violation of terms, as millions of Twitter users have suggested.
That might change one day soon. Twitch, the video streaming service popular with online gamers, has suspended an account belonging to the Trump campaign, becoming the latest tech platform to take action against Trump.
Reddit, which calls itself “the front page of the Internet,” banned the subreddit “r/The_Donald,” a pro-Trump group with more than 790,000 followers. According to The New York Times, Reddit said it was also banning roughly 2,000 other communities from across the political spectrum, including one devoted to the leftist podcasting group “Chapo Trap House,” which has about 160,000 regular users.
Facebook, on the other hand, is adamant in its position that it doesn’t want to restrict free speech. May I ask what is free about propaganda? How does systematic lying fit into anyone’s concept of serving liberty?
Facebook’s mal intent and bad behaviors ripple out and hurt the entire social media industry. Will the leaders of Twitter et al lean on Mark?
What About Your Relationship(s) to Facebook?
July 1 is tomorrow. Are you ready to put Facebook, Instagram, and all social media on the shelf for a month? Are you ready to move whatever ad dollars you have there to better places where your prospects and customers meet?
I am not suspending social media activities. Not now. I suppose I could feel bad about this. Or feel nothing at all. Or I could see that empty gestures are hollow, whereas commitment to forging new, more human paths is real.
TV spreads misinformation even more broadly and effectively than social media. Is Coke taking the month off from TV too? What about Starbucks, Diageo, Unilever, and Ford? Are they also concerned about doing the hard things it takes to solve the problem? Or is this just all posturing and ass-covering? The brands are making headlines but how much substance is there beyond the initial “look at me and my restraint” moment?