The Facebook Boycott Expands

Starbucks (SBUX) has joined Unilever (UN), Verizon (VZ), Honda (HMC), Levi Strauss (LEVI), Diageo (DEO), Coca-Cola (KO), Hershey's (HSY), Patagonia and other big advertisers who have paused their social media advertising. What started as a Facebook (FB) boycott is quickly evolving into a referendum on the state of social media. 

This should surprise no one. There are many wonderful things about social media, but in the past few years, the bad has overshadowed the good by a wide margin. It is time for big tech to step up and do the right thing. This isn't a 1st Amendment issue, these are public companies that can enact whatever policies are best for their shareholders. 

Said differently, we willingly give the tech giants access to our most personal data. Several social media and search sites even read the contents of our clipboards when we are logged in. With that amount of access to our data - they can take a big step towards solving the "stop hate for profit" issues. It's the right thing to do.

In response, Facebook will label more controversial content and tighten advertising policies. The company will ban ads that scapegoat minorities, immigrants, racial or other groups as part of a wider crackdown on hate speech, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

But is it too little, too late?

Update: In related news, Reddit banned "The_Donald" subreddit because of hate speech, and Twitch suspended Donald Trump's account for "breaking its hateful conduct policies." Don't shoot the messenger. Is this a welcome trend or reason for concern? I'm anxious to hear your thoughts.

Image Source: Flickr StockCatalog

Shelly Palmer is Fox 5 New York's On-air Tech Expert (WNYW-TV) and the host of Fox Television's monthly show Shelly Palmer Digital Living. He also hosts United Stations Radio Network's, ...

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