"You'll Be Back," Zuckerberg Tells Advertisers

By Holly Brockwell on at

Brand after brand has withdrawn its advertising money from Facebook because of the platform's many problems, but Mark Zuckerberg is unrepentant.

At an internal Facebook meeting last week, Arbiter Of Truth Zuckerberg literally said he had no intention of improving his cesspit of a social networking site:

"My guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.

We're not going to change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue."

Clearly, his own staff were as horrified as we were by the remarks, since one of them leaked a transcript of the meeting to The Information.

Facebook has admitted the quotes are real – which it probably didn't have a choice about, given that a transcript suggests a recording of the meeting exists.

To try and placate all the people rightly pissed off by Zuck's cavalier attitude, the company has announced he'll be taking a meeting with Stop Hate For Profit, the group behind the boycott which now has more than 600 brands. Big names on the giant list include Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Honda, Ben & Jerry's and Mars.

Meanwhile, Global Affairs Chief Sir Nick Clegg (bet you forgot he works at Facebook now) wrote an open letter to the ad industry, titled Facebook Does Not Benefit From Hate. Yes, really. Here's an excerpt:

"Facebook has come in for much criticism in recent weeks following its decision to allow controversial posts by President Trump to stay up, and misgivings on the part of many people, including companies that advertise on our platform, about our approach to tackling hate speech. I want to be unambiguous: Facebook does not profit from hate. Billions of people use Facebook and Instagram because they have good experiences — they don’t want to see hateful content, our advertisers don’t want to see it, and we don’t want to see it. There is no incentive for us to do anything but remove it."

You can read the whole thing here.

Facebook also emailed its company partners and advertising agencies insisting it's doing everything it can about hate speech and bad actors on its platform. But behind closed doors, it's clearly less worried.

Another quote from the meeting transcript has Zuckerberg saying the boycott is just a "reputational and partner issue," rather than something that's actually affecting their bottom line.

According to the BBC, 9 out of the 10 brands that spend the most on Facebook advertising in the UK are still doing so. [BBC]