Facebook has responded to over a hundred companies that have pulled ads from the social network in the past week. The ad boycott is an effort by some of the nation’s most prominent brands, including Coca-Cola and Verizon, to compel Facebook to update its policy regarding hate speech. Facebook has now announced a first step in addressing the issue. New restrictions will ban any ad that implies hate speech or propagates false information about voting.
The Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, the NAACP, and other civil rights organizations launched a boycott on Facebook ads for the month of July. In a little over a week, the cause gained broad traction, attracting over a hundred of the nation’s foremost companies. Facebook is now trying to heed the call to limit the spread of hate speech and misinformation.
But Facebook’s new policy only extends to advertisements. No personal posts will be censored, a concession to those who feared Facebook would try to limit free speech.
The updated policy will prohibit “claims that people from a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status are a threat to the physical safety, health or survival of others.” Further regulations will combat ads that convey negative sentiments about immigrants and refugees.
The new restrictions will also tackle the spread of misinformation. This includes inaccurate reporting about the coronavirus pandemic, pro-justice protests, and voting information. In the interest of public awareness, the platform will label posts that can’t be verified. Furthermore, any post that discusses voting will be flagged with a link to Facebook’s voting information center.
“Facebook stands for giving people a voice, and that especially means people who have previously not had as much voice, or as much power to share their own experiences,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a lengthy post. He hopes that his company’s efforts would enable users to “ultimately use their voice where it matters most — voting.” Zuckerberg cited the upcoming election and current civil rights movements as motivators for the change.
The world’s largest social media company, which also owns and operates Instagram, has long been accused of dismissing criticism. But Facebook makes about 98% of its profit from advertisers. As a result, the boycott has intensified the pressure to address the spread of hateful or misleading information.
Still, Zuckerberg credits Facebook’s “civil rights auditors,” Laura W. Murphy and Megan Cacace, for shaping the policy update. Additionally, he says that the many of the changes “come directly from feedback from the civil rights community.”
Verizon has joined a growing list of companies pulling advertisements from Facebook. The boycott will span the month of July, in an effort to pressure the social media juggernaut to revise its hate speech policy.
Verizon Joins the Movement
Verizon now joins a growing alliance of companies boycotting Facebook and its subsidiary, Instagram. Recently, outdoor apparel brand Eddie Bauer pledged its commitment to the boycott, as did ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s. Earlier this month, the founders of the Vermont-based creamery were arrested at a Black Lives Matter protest.
Also among the nearly 100 companies joining the boycott are North Face, Patagonia, Modzilla, REI, and Unilever.
A Cause to Fight Misinformation
The boycott is the result of the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Among the campaign’s organizers are civil rights groups like the NAACP, Color of Change, the Anti-Defamation League, Free Press, Sleeping Giants, and Commons Sense. The movement began just over a week ago.
The campaign is an effort, launched by the Anti-Defamation League, to censure misleading comments by President Trump. Trump has joined other far-right voices in spreading misleading information and hate speech on the world’s largest social network. But unlike Twitter, which has removed doctored videos and tagged certain misleading tweets propagated by President Trump, Facebook has hesitated to respond. Founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg has faced criticism from both inside and outside his company by people who deem his inaction troubling.
Still, as the general election nears, misinformation on Facebook could present a threat. Fake news campaigns had a tangible effect on the 2016 election. Moreover, as the global pandemic, its ensuing financial crisis and national protests continue to dominate the news cycle, authentic, dependable information is critical. Facebook’s hesitance to remove misleading information is not a neutral position.
John Nitti, Verizon’s Chief Media Officer, said in a statement:
“We have strict content policies in place and have zero tolerance when they are breached, we take action…We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with what we’ve done with YouTube and other partners.”
Carolyn Everson, Vice President of Facebook’s Global Business Group, said in her statement:
“We respect any brand’s decision, and remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information. Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organizations are about how, together, we can be a force for good.”
Accordingly, Facebook has announced some changes since Verizon’s announcement. The company is banning advertisements that could lead to any racial or religious division. The pressure is having an effect.
Gone are the days when a sales representative had to visit the prospective clients to inform about the benefits of products or services. With the help of Internet, the functions and advantages of the products can be easily demonstrated to the potential customers. Therefore, more and more companies are creating and using online demos to increase their sales and reducing the operational costs.
With the introduction of online demos, sales cycles have become shorter and hassle-free. Moreover, these demos enable business organisations to expand their operations beyond geographical borders. The best advantage of using this technology is that it allows users to share desktop, which results in convenient transfer of files. Participants can also use whiteboard in order to interact with each other conveniently. Using whiteboard, they make sure that the actions on desktop are visible to the entire group on either side.
Since the technology is evolving rapidly, the Internet demonstrations are becoming more and more productive. And when it comes to country like Singapore, the online presentations are even more useful as most of the business organisations in the nation prefer online meetings.
There are numerous organisations in Singapore that rely on web conferencing for demonstrating their products and services to their geographically spread clients. Through online demos, the local companies, besides presenting their existing range, can provide a glimpse of their upcoming offerings.
Singapore is a hub of numerous multinationals and the internet presentations are a huge success in this country. The main reason behind this success is that online demos consume less time as compared to in-person meetings. Though several airports, railways lines and highways are being constructed, travelling takes a lot of time while fulfilling airport, check-in and Visa formalities. Therefore, online demonstrations seem to be the best option for all those companies which are willing to increase their revenue while spending less time on travelling.
There are various CSPs providing reliable and cost-effective services for hosting online demonstrations. These service providers employ latest equipment to help demonstrate products’ features in 2D as well as 3D mode. Moreover, they provide support throughout the meeting and ensure that the host does not come across any trouble while describing the functionalities of products. Since there are various service providers, it is a bit difficult to find a trustworthy vendor. In this case, a thorough market research can be conducted to narrow down the search for a credible CSP. The market research also helps in selecting a CSP that offers best services at reasonable prices.
Video calling for businesses has come a long way. It is no more an expensive system in a large conference room, which needs IT personnel at every step. In fact, today companies large and small are adapting video as part of their day to day operations.
Here are top benefits of video conferencing for HR professionals-
1. Job interviews – Group video calling, better known as video conferencing is one of the best technologies HR can use to attract, retain and develop millennial employees. As per Redshift’s research, a majority of HR professionals use video calls as a preferred method of communication, more than emails and phone calls. The survey tells that video interviews are as good as in person interviews, and beats phone calls when it comes to making good hiring decisions. Video interviews remove the constraints of geographical boundaries for talent acquisition. Niche companies often require candidates with unique skills sets, and video calls make it possible to hire the best talent for the position from anywhere in the world.
2. Employee trainings – On boarding employees comes with its own challenges. Most companies have to fly a trainer to remote areas to impart training to new employees or relocate their new employees. These traditional ways have serious drawbacks: they are very costly, ineffective and involve stressful travel. Video conferencing is cost-effective to provide hands-on training to employees located in different areas. It requires no travel and results in better engagement and learning of new employees.
3. Marketing the products – Providing live demos and interactive and engaging but has its own drawbacks like reaching a smaller audience, leading to limited sales. On the contrary, marketing your products through video calling has many advantages. Your market is huge as you can reach a larger audience across the world via video calls. Live video demonstrations like video conference demos give you an advantage over traditional methods: the reach of a pre-recorded video and grip of a live demo.
4. Enhanced collaboration– Video conferencing not only has enormous benefits for businesses but also employees. Often hiring the best talent can be challenging due to commuting to far off places. The traditional workplace is on its way out as worldwide collaboration and remote teams become more common. Many big brands like Amazon have witnessed major benefits of allowing workers to telecommute with the support of a good video conferencing system.
The advantages of free video calling, conferencing and video chatting are enormous. There are many video conferencing and chatting apps available in the market that bridges the gap between employers and employees, leading to a productive workplace. Video conferencing has become a day to day necessity for not only organizations but people across the world.