Facebook admits ‘trust deficit’ as advertisers leave platform

As more and more advertisers decide to quit Facebook over the spread of misinformation and hate speech on its platform, the social network has admitted there is a trust deficit.

Several big and small advertisers like North Face, Ben & Jerry’s, outdoor apparel stores REI and Patagonia, freelancing platform Upwork, shipping company Local Postal, password manager Dashlane and outwear company Arc’teryx have joined the boycott, among several others.

Facebook’s head of trust and safety Neil Potts went on a call with about 200 advertisers to discuss the situation, reports the CNN.

“There is a trust deficit. You try to make a decision and people disagree and maybe that builds that deficit even deeper,” Potts was quoted as saying.

Potts told the group of advertisers that Facebook is working to close the trust gap.

A Facebook spokesperson later said in a statement that it’s normal for them “to have conversations with advertisers and discuss issues, including policy matters”.

Potts’ remarks were first reported by the Financial Times.

Civil rights groups, including the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, launched the #StopHateForProfit campaign on June 17, pressuring large companies to halt advertising on Facebook.

The social network is facing criticism for its inaction over Trump posts that glorified violence in the aftermath of the death of African-American George Floyd.

Facebook last week removed a Donald Trump campaign ad featuring a symbol used by Nazis for political dissenters, saying the ad violated its policies. The ad with an upside-down red triangle symbol was posted under accounts for Trump.

Several former and existing Facebook employees wrote an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, criticizing his inaction over controversial posts from Trump, calling him to start fact-checking world leaders and labelling harmful posts.