Instant Karma Newsletter 7.6.20
  • The #StopHateForProfit campaign quickly picked up steam after the boycott began July 1, landing support from Coca-Cola, Unilever, Verizon, Sony, Ford and hundreds of other companies. Suddenly, Facebook execs have agreed to a meeting with boycott organizers this week.

This article is part of the daily Karma newsletter. To get the whole newsletter delivered to your email free every morning, subscribe here.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t initially seem too concerned about an advertising boycott launched by the group Stop Hate for Profit – which includes the Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, Color of Change and Common Sense – over what the civil rights groups say is the social media platform’s “long history of allowing racist, violent and verifiably false content to run rampant on its platform.”

“We’re not gonna change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue, or to any percent of our revenue,” Zuckerberg told employees days before the boycott began, according to The Information, adding later that “my guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.”

After all, Facebook has weathered controversies about the false advertising and hate speech it allows on its platform for years, not to mention the privacy concerns raised by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which showed advertisers were able to target misleading messages to specific demographics. (Impact investors have been wary of the company, which also owns Instagram, especially after it was dropped from the S&P 500 ESG Index last year over privacy concerns.)

This time is different. The #StopHateForProfit campaign quickly picked up steam once the month-long boycott began on July 1, landing support from Coca-Cola, Unilever, Verizon, Sony, Ford and hundreds of other companies, both big and small. Starbucks plans to pause advertising on all social media platforms in July.

Suddenly, Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg agreed to meet boycott organizers this week, perhaps as soon as today.  

Stop Hate for Profit organizers will be bringing their list of demands. Let’s see how far they get.

Here’s what else we’ll be watching in the week ahead:

NYC IN PHASE 3 (Monday): Sure, indoor dining has been put on hold, but all sorts of personal care services will reopen. You can finally get that massage or tattoo you’ve been dreaming about in lockdown.

NBA WORKOUTS BEGIN (Tuesday): NBA teams begin arriving at the Disney campus in Orlando for workouts as they get ready to restart the season on July 30. However, the coronavirus – and spiking cases in Florida – may have other ideas.

McCLATCHY AUCTION? (Wednesday): We find out who has bid to purchase the bankrupt McClatchy Co. newspaper chain, which includes the Miami Herald, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram and Sacramento Bee. If there is more than one bidder, the company goes to auction. NiemanLab’s Ken Doctor says a nonprofit is considering a bid in the name of public service and protecting journalism.

In case you missed it

Uncertainty caused impact investing deals to drop 81% in 2Q compared to last year. Activists are asking the SEC to require companies to disclose how they are keeping employees safe in the pandemic. A group of ordinary French citizens convinced French President Emmanuel Macron to pledge an additional $16.9 billion to fight climate change.

Levity break

Dr. Clare Wenham’s daughter charmingly disrupts her mom’s BBC interview.