Photo: Olivier Zuida The Duty
In the current call for boycott, Facebook is committed to reviewing its own arrangements and regulations in relation to the false news and the verification of the facts, without compromising its position as a defender of freedom of expression on the Net.
Facebook is once again attacked in its business model. Resonance of a capitalism become socially involved, or simple operation for the protection of the brand image ?
Facebook is now the target of a campaign of boycott, referred to by the movement #stophateforprofit asking for the suspension in July of any advertising on its platform and on Instagram. The movement is growing. He returned to now some 400 advertisers and extends beyond the u.s. borders.
Some would see this as an expression of the continuity of a change of course of the big bosses of capitalism, which again last year, extended their mission to the well-being of the other ” stakeholders “, in a statement engaging in capitalism to a sustainable economic development. See this as an expression of a certain level of business that enabled them to participate in the fight against climate change, against the harassment of women, for the tightening of gun control, for the protection of the right to abortion or even for the defense of immigrants.
If ensure the sustainability of the company remains the main obligation of the boards of directors, social considerations have been built over the years with the rules of governance and performance trust. In fact, the concept of stakeholders acting, in the past, the primacy of the shareholder is expanded to include employees, creditors, suppliers, customers, governments.
But in the current dialectic aimed at Facebook, the reach is still limited, and the core of the analysis remains too long confined to the different responses of the Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook with the positions of the more controversial u.s. president on the social networks.
For the time being, the advertisers participating in the movement were recruited mainly among the medium-sized and large companies. According to the data of Pathmatics Data cited extensively in the american media, the top 100 advertisers on Facebook will not make that 6 % of the revenues of 70 billion that the social network has posted over the last year. The bulk of the 7 to 8 million advertisers range from small and medium-sized businesses, which appeal to the targeted marketing of Facebook and seeking direct sales of some 2.6 billion active users monthly, according to Statista.
Also faced with the issues around the protection of data and privacy, Facebook is not the first protest near the economic model without that its share price or its revenue will not be affected. If the most important social network multiplies the investment in the security of its systems, its gross margins continue to cavort above the 30% to 40%. And in the current call for boycott, Facebook is committed to reviewing its own arrangements and regulations in relation to the false news and the verification of the facts, without compromising its position as a defender of freedom of expression on the Net.
The economist Olivier Bomsel, professor at Mines Paris Tec, argued in a text of Agence France-Presse that, to find the maximum of potential targets, social networks ” have been encouraged to maximize the audience through the construction of stories sensationalist, the exacerbation of differences of opinions, conflicts of values “. What Nick Clegg, a lobbyist-in-chief of Facebook, defended on Bloomberg TV : “We do not derive any profit from the hatred, we do not encourage […] It is our job to seek out this kind of content, but I don’t want anyone to imagine that we will be able to get rid of it entirely because the hate speech is part of the human condition. “
This does nothing to the problem of monitoring large platforms and their degree of monopoly power. Facebook has, here, a challenge.