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What boycott? Facebook earnings unaffected by advertising revolt

Facebook said that despite a very public advertising boycott, the company still plans to hit its revenue goals for the year and will largely be unaffected by the campaign targeting its content moderation policies, according to a second-quarter earnings report released Thursday.

Facebook said that ad revenue growth continued to grow 10% during the first few weeks of July, roughly the same as its pace in the second quarter.

“We expect our full quarter year-over-year ad revenue growth rate for the third quarter of 2020 will be roughly similar to this July performance,” the company said in the earnings report. “There are several factors contributing to this outlook, including […] the impact from certain advertisers pausing spend on our platforms related to the current boycott, which is reflected in our July trends.”

The Stop Hate For Profit advertising boycott campaign grew in June and captured headlines as more than 500 companies joined in a pledge to withdraw their money from the social media platform in protest of Facebook’s handling of hate speech and misinformation.

Household names like ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s, retailers Patagonia, REI, and North Face, as well as telecommunications company Verizon were all on the roster of companies calling on Facebook to make a change. After the boycott became mainstream, advertisers met with CEO Mark Zuckerberg, but were ultimately disappointed, telling Digital Trends they believe the CEO is not committed to making any meaningful change.

Zuckerberg later reportedly dismissed the boycott, saying “all these advertisers will be back.”

The coalition was meant to show Facebook that advertisers could have a say in the way Facebook conducts itself by pulling back cash and making a dent in its financials.

But Thursday’s earnings report suggests Facebook is too big to feel any financial pain. In the second quarter of 2020, Facebook posted $5.17 billion in profit, nearly doubling its profits from the same period last year.

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Meira Gebel
Meira Gebel is a freelance reporter based in Portland. She writes about tech, social media, and internet culture for Digital…
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