The main topic of the week in the world of technology is the controversy involving Facebook, which belongs to the businessman Mark Zukerberg, and a series of major brands that are temporarily boycotting the social network. And this cannot be called a confrontation of small proportions: more than 600 transnational companies among the most important in the world have joined the campaign for more effective control over hate speech by Facebook administrators.
As everyone knows, in recent weeks the world has been shaken by a wave of protests against racism after a black citizen was killed by suffocation by an American police officer, even though he was already surrendered. The understanding of the anti-racist movements and ordinary citizens in the United States and other countries was to not accept the version that the murder was the result of an isolated episode, but place it as part of a structural problem. This understanding has the consequence of establishing a link between the physical violence of the streets and the symbolic violence of the networks.
Large companies that value their reputation and the heritage of their brands tend to become more sensitive to the demands of their audience in times of crisis such as this. It must be said that in a capitalist system with a free flow of goods and ideas, such a boycott carried out by companies dissatisfied with a certain stance, having their names disclosed on a channel is a legitimate strategy. After all, no brand is required to maintain its name anywhere This is democracy.
The pressure has so far started some dialogue, in which the parties are trying to find a balance. Facebook says that a screening of the posts is already being done, posing some difficulty in its reinforcement once it may affect the freedom of opinion, which would not be Zukerberg’s intention. However, companies joining the movement called Stop Hate for Profit understand that there would be room to increase rigor against offensive or threatening content.
This is undoubtedly a delicate dispute, and it must be resolved through negotiation and common sense to establish criteria that preserve freedom of expression and sharing, but also with regulations against those who want to misuse a medium as powerful as this social network. In any case, it is increasingly clear that we are in a world with no place for cowardly attacks on minorities, and it is very positive that the largest global companies have taken on the responsibility of putting an end to this situation.