In brief

  • Stop Hate for Profit, a campaign launched by US civil rights groups, has called for companies to boycott Facebook because of harmful content on the platform.
  • Coca Cola and nearly 90 other top companies have done so—leading Facebook to lose billions of dollars.
  • This is the latest headache for CEO Mark Zuckerberg who has had non-stop troubles this year.

Social media giant Facebook lost billions of dollars yesterday after Coca Cola and a number of other companies paused advertising on social media. Could this reduce interest in the Facebook-led kinda-stablecoin, Libra?

In a bid to tackle hate speech and racism on the platform, the soft drinks company announced Friday that it would pause all paid advertising on social media for 30 days. 

“We will take this time to reassess our advertising policies to determine whether revisions are needed,” Coca Cola CEO James Quincey said in a statement. “We also expect greater accountability and transparency from our social media partners.”

Coca Cola, along with Hershey's, Levi's, Honda and Unilever, are among the 90 companies who boycotted the social media platform as part of Stop Hate for Profit

Stop Hate for Profit was launched by US civil rights groups after the death of African American George Floyd. It argues that Facebook has had a “catastrophic effect” on society because it allows "racist, violent and verifiably false content” on its platform. 

Zuckerberg defended his company on Friday, saying the platform was doing all it could to remove harmful content and that it would start attaching labels to problematic content. 

Facebook—which also owns WhatsApp and Instagram—then took a battering as other companies followed suit as part of a campaign. The company’s shares fell by 8.3% and Mark Zuckerberg lost $7.2 billion of his fortune, Bloomberg reported

The billionaire CEO’s latest headache comes just after his company this month launched its WhatsApp Pay feature in Brazil, only for it to be blocked a week later. 

Facebook has also come under constant criticism for the way it handles disinformation. The platform has announced this year that it would start using an Oversight Board to independently govern its content. 

Worrisome news for Libra

Facebook isn’t just having trouble with its advertisements, with politics or WhatsApp. The world’s most popular social media platform has also had constant problems with getting its digital currency, the Libra, off the ground. 

Zuckerberg—who is worth over $82.3 billion according to Bloomberg—has had a tough time trying to please global regulators, who worry about the impact its kinda-stablecoin could have on the global economy. 

The fear is this: the value of the kinda-stablecoin is pegged to a basket of assets—like the yuan, dollar and pound—the ratio of which Facebook and the other two dozen-odd companies that make up the Libra Association control. This undermines the authority of central banks, say...central banks.

While one of the world’s biggest corporations continues to face hurdle after hurdle in its plans for a worldwide financial system built around its digital currency, the Web3 community will continue its fight for decentralization.