As pressure mounts on Facebook and Instagram to better police hate-speech, The Walt Disney Company has reportedly joined an advertising boycott.
According to Deadline‘s Bruce Haring, the company is “slashing” its advertising spending on the social media channels. Estimates from Pathmatics Inc. name Disney as Facebook’s leading advertiser for the first half of 2020, so this move may prove to have a large impact.
The report claims that a majority of the advertising pulled on Facebook was for Disney+, which the company had spent around $210 million on so far, with other divisions possibly following suit. Disney has also reportedly withdrawn all of its Instagram advertising for Hulu. Pathmatics has said that $16 million was spent on Hulu’s Instagram ads from April 15th through June 30th.
Other large corporations, including Ford, Starbucks, Unilever, and Verizon have already reduced or eliminated their spending, following calls from groups including the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP to boycott Facebook and its services over their failure to enforce policies on alleged “hate-speech and disinformation.” In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, Disney issued a company-wide statement condemning racism.
Facebook said in a statement that “we know we have more work to do,” claiming that they are working with civil-rights groups, and a prominent advertising trade group “to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight,” adding that they’ve spent “billions of dollars” on site safety, banning 250 white supremacist groups and developing artificial intelligence to identify potential hate-speech before any users have to flag it.
With Disney possibly joining the boycott, it’s yet to be seen if this will have the intended impact on Facebook.