We’re in the middle of a censorship in social media storm, due to Facebook advertising boycott. Depending on your point of view it’s either a really great thing for our country, or this is another step in its decline.
On Monday we covered the ongoing boycott from Facebook advertisers. As of the time of this recording Facebook has recovered some of its losses from Friday’s down day, when the stock lost $56B in value and 8.4% of its total value.
While there is tumult with social media the stock also follows the larger market trends. As I’m recording this video Dow Jones Industrial Average is down .24% on Tuesday, and Facebook is up 1.5% on the day. This tells me that market is happy that Facebook is taking action to counter hate speech on the platform.
Other platforms have followed suit with a social media censorship campaign.
On Tuesday, Reddit purged more than 2,000 communities, including the subreddit ‘The Donald’. A forum for Trump supporters to connect. Unfortunately, that forum was also the site of hate speech, racism, targeted harassment and conspiracy theories that threatened the larger community.
Other subreddits that were purged include ‘ChapoTrapHouse’, a hardcore left leaning subreddit, Dark Humor And Memes, and ‘I’m Going To Hell For This 2’.
Notably, across social media, brands are taking a pause. Not just on Facebook.
Starbucks announced that it will halt all social media advertising.
Diageo made the same announcement.
Unilver will stop advertising across major platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
In the analysis here, I applaud the large brands who are throwing around their considerable weight in the market to affect change.
This coordinated effort should be noted.
I’m not saying there’s a direct connection to the current Covid-19 pandemic here, but it’s interesting that this is happening at a time when we’re bound to see lots of changes. This is because the pandemic is changing the rules for how business operates.
One of the ideas that we discussed recently is that Covid-19 will create partners out of former rivals.
The second point here that’s evident to me is need for diversification. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. One of the most important keys to success is the opportunities presented with diversification.
In the case of advertising and marketing technology companies, and access to consumers are key to this equation. Facebook is the most dominant social platform and business platform in the US.
Google was the first, and still very important.
But, the tier of services that many companies aren’t talking about, is the data driven ad buying landscape. Outside of these two behemoths, with exception, of course, with the Fortune 500 brands.
These tools include The Trade Desk, MediaMath, Vistar, and others. All that power the larger programmatic advertising landscape.
Brands can throw their weight around the ecosystem like this, because they have other avenues to reach consumers.
So, as we continue into a very hot summer culturally and politically, I’m paying attention the moves the big dogs are making. And I’m taking note of the reasons and motivations that allow those moves to happen.