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US Daily News – Facebook moderators call for advertiser boycott to be extended


Current and former Facebook moderators have called for the unprecedented advertiser boycott of the site to be extended to prove that the action is more than a “PR stunt”. Speaking to the Guardian, one current moderator who asked to remain anonymous because they feared for their job, said that without long-term commitments, this was a “PR stunt that will pass when they get enough of the reports that they want”. The boycott, which was most recently joined by Britain’s Innocent Drinks, Pukka Herbs and the ready-meal company Cook, was organised from mid-June as a response to Facebook’s perceived inaction over hate speech on the site. It has since swelled to become the largest advertiser boycott in the site’s history, including household names such as Disney, Unilever and Volkswagen, but was due to finish at the end of July. Even before the boycott began, some were questioning its efficacy. Facebook’s advertising revenue is overwhelmingly derived from the “long tail” – smaller advertisers which make up in quantity what they lack in individual spend. “Millions and millions of small businesses are going to have to pay for adverts: that’s all they can do,” said Chris Gray, a former Facebook moderator in Ireland. “Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t care. He’s on record as saying they’ll be back. So I’ve got no faith that it will achieve anything.”One current moderator agreed, telling the Guardian last month: “I don’t think that Facebook are going to care about this, and they haven’t lost revenue. It’s like 5% of their lost revenue, and it will only last til the end of July, so they’ll recover from it.“It’s good that their policies are getting attention. In this way, we all may benefit. But facing the attack they’re retrenching, so it’s hard to predict what’s going to be the effect of this.”Gray, who is suing the company in Dublin for PTSD he says was inflicted in the course of his duties as a moderator, also cautioned that demands to act faster on hate speech can rebound on the low-paid moderators carrying out the work.

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