Starting Wednesday, numerous household names — from Hershey’s to Denny’s — will officially pause advertising on the platform as part of a broader boycott effort over concerns about Facebook’s handling of misinformation and hate speech.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO and cofounder, has now agreed to meet with the civil rights organizers behind the boycott, the company confirmed to CNN Business on Wednesday. Facebook framed the meeting as part of its regular engagement with “civil rights leaders and organizations.”
“They asked about having Mark at the meeting, and we’ve since confirmed that Mark is able to join,” Andy Stone, a spokesperson for Facebook, said in a statement provided to CNN Business. “We’re waiting to hear back and look forward to the opportunity to continue the dialogue.”
The list includes demanding that Facebook hire a C-Suite executive with “deep” civil rights experience to assess products and policies for discrimination, bias and hate. The organizers are also calling for Facebook to pledge to do regular, independent audits of hate and misinformation; remove public and private groups focused on hate or violent conspiracies and stop the recommendation and reach of such groups; and give all moderators anti-bias and hate-related training in the next 90 days.
While the campaign said taking these 10 actions wouldn’t solve everything, the organizers believe it would show that Facebook is serious about addressing concerns.
Ben & Jerry’s echoed that sentiment. “We are not sure when our pause in advertising will end, just as we are not sure what Facebook will do, or when,” said Laura Peterson, a spokesperson for the company.
CNN’s Brian Fung contributed to this report.
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