- Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is planning to meet with the #StopTheHateForProfit campaign organizers.
- Zuckerberg says he expects the boycotting advertisers to return to the platform soon.
- The billionaire CEO wants to avoid caving to the demands of the campaign.
The #StopTheHateForProfit campaign has been urging brands to cancel their adverts on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).
Here’s another thing the boycott organizers should do: cancel their planned meeting with CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The billionaire CEO has shown time and again to be deaf to practical proposals that could make Facebook better. The organizers will thus be wasting their time and energy. The Zuck will hear them out but won’t do jack!
Here is why the boycott organizers will come up empty when they meet Zuckerberg.
1. A history of empty promises
Facebook has a long history of controversy and scandals. Mark Zuckerberg’s trademark response has been to announce piecemeal changes. Afterward, it is business as usual.
The strategy is clear–buy time and, if necessary, announce cosmetic changes meant to appease. Zuckerberg has perfected this to an art form, and the boycott organizers should know better.
At other times, Facebook has promised change without seriously intending to take any meaningful action.
Last month, Rashad Robinson of the Color of Change civil rights organization revealed that he had engaged Facebook in discussions countless times without making any real progress. The civil rights organization is part of the #StopTheHate4Profit campaign.
2. Facebook expects the boycott to be temporary
There’s no need to make concessions when you are on the winning side. At this point, Mark Zuckerberg expects to prevail.
Recently, the Facebook CEO told employees that he expects the boycotters to return to the platform soon.
Waiting out public pressure to make policy changes has worked well for Facebook in the past. All indications are that Zuckerberg expects it to work this time around. Any meeting with the boycott organizers would be merely a public relations exercise for him.
3. Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want to set a precedent
According to Zuckerberg, “capitulating” would set a precedent for others.
According to Zuckerberg, giving in to the demands of boycotters and activists will be a sign of weakness that others could exploit. The Facebook CEO’s ego will not allow him to negotiate or accept proposals that could shift the balance of power away from him.
Boycott organizers should know that they could hold dozens of meetings with Zuckerberg only to make zero progress. If they value their time, they should find other ways to get the change they are seeking would be the better option.
They would be better off recruiting more brands to join the boycott. Or to convince the participating brands to commit to more prolonged boycotts. Then Mark Zuckerberg might be willing to listen and act decisively. Not just hear them out.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com. The author holds no investment position in the above-mentioned securities.