CNN is naming and shaming corporate brands that have yet to join the ad boycott against Facebook, spurred by an agitated political left that wants the platform to do more to crack down on constitutionally protected speech — especially that of President Donald Trump.
The anti-Trump broadcaster published an article on its website earlier today titled “These are the big brands that haven’t pulled ads from Facebook yet.”
CNN also reveals in its article that it reached out to all of the brands for comment, a commonly used tactic in the media aimed at pressuring companies to take action with the veiled threat of negative coverage.
The aritcle admits that the boycott will likely not make much of a difference to Facebook’s bottom line, and also admits that most brands did not return CNN’s request for comment:
This form of mainstream media activism follows the same model as the YouTube “adpocalypse” in 2017, in which major brands, spurred by a media-led panic, boycotted YouTube in an attempt to pressure the Google-owned platform into censoring and financially blacklisting controversial content.
Although analysts say the boycott is not a major financial threat to Facebook this year, the company is still buckling under the pressure. Mark Zuckerberg announced plans for even stricter policing of “hateful” speech in response to the advertiser pressure, and Adweek reported today that Facebook has agreed to an external “brand safety audit.”
Even before the boycott, Facebook showed signs of caving in to political pressure to censor the Trump campaign. Last month, the platform took down an official Trump ad that denounced Antifa violence, on the grounds that one of the modern-day Antifa symbols used in the ad (an upside-down red triangle) was also once used by the Nazis.