Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

MediaLad: It’s time to talk the truth about the Facebook boycott

Who’s MediaLad? In digital media, everyone pretends they know who he, or she, is. We do. Or do we? What we do know is that the anonymous media hero is NDA’s regular columnist.

Let’s talk about the Facebook Boycott.

There isn’t a good or bad way of looking at this. However, brands need to do what is in line with their CSR. They need to take a good, hard, LONG look at their advertising practices, holistically.

If you’re cutting Facebook for its role in spreading hate speech, are you doing it merely to absolve own conscience or are you also taking steps to clear your entire media supply chain of bad actors.

Facebook isn’t a bad actor, but a platform that has become a behemoth. Lest we forget, it’s what we all signed up to at university all those years ago. It could have been Bebo.

The way it’s handled the situation isn’t great. Mark Z, isn’t great. But you’ve got to look at it as a “it’s not just them” situation.

If you’re spending on national newspapers that have a history of inciting or instigating hate, then why? If you’re spending in areas of the internet that you don’t know everything about, why?

If you’re spending on influencer marketers that say one thing one day but could have a change of “creative direction” the next, are you confident your brand should be involved? In the long term?

Many questions – not many answers. Big companies spend a lot of money on all forms of advertising and have to to reach their audience. But do they have do this in such a huge variety of media and channels or should they concentrate on just in a few but at scale?

I don’t have an answer for you but in your situations, with your challenges – look deep into plans and critique what you’re doing for the greater good. With everything that’s going on right now you have to be bold.

Understand the detail and try your best to do the right thing, not just in one platform, but in all.

Find partners that are ethical and trying to stay this way. Find partners that have actively cleaned up their act and are trying to maintain that.

Mistakes happen, embrace that and move forward. If it cannot be avoided, then make a decision. Keep it or bin it. Simple.

Just one more thing…

I’ve noticed a specific company lead write a post on LinkedIn and I’m really annoyed. Don’t offer tips on LinkedIn in a sarcastic fashion when you’re in the C-Suite. If you’re ready for a backlash from all the people that buy Facebook regularly then go ahead, but if you’re a MUCH smaller platform then be sure you’re also under the microscope.

Be sure that your entire workforce share that sentiment. Be sure they haven’t actually expressed any of the sort of opinions that led you to post negatively about said platform.

There are so many implications to your actions that I haven’t even scratched the surface of. Questions you should ask yourself before overtly attacking a platform that has enabled you to build a business. I hope it was worth the LinkedIn profile views and I honestly can’t wait to read the comments, popcorn ready. (Not).


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