Enabling Hate Speech Through Pizza?

dominoespizzahutIs the way to the heart or pocketbook of a Holocaust Denier through his/her stomach?  It seems that some major pizza chains may think so.  Their ads as well as the ads of other major corporations are allegedly showing up next to Holocaust Denial groups on Facebook.  It appears that if you are a Facebook Holocaust Denier, your reward may be some sweet pizza deals from Dominos and Pizza Hut.

While there is no accusation that these advertisers have knowledge of these ad placements, the implications are disturbing. 

Vodaphone, a primarily European Telecom company recently withdrew its ads from Facebook after learning of such ad placement.  Tesco, a European based grocer also took action when their ads began showing up next to Facebook Holocaust Denial content.

Both of these companies have a large presence in countries in which it is illegal to deny the Holocaust.  It is understandable and predictable that there would be an immediate response to such allegations.

What about U.S. based companies?   Should they care that their Facebook advertisements may be showing up in conjunction with such content?

American Airlines cared.  When American Airlines representatives learned that their Facebook ads may be showing in conjunction with Holocaust Denial content, they immediately took action.  I received the following email from an American representative:

“We have made sure we are not showing up on groups like this (and continue to oversee to ensure.  Again, thanks for the heads up on this and let us know if you need anything.”

Are the dollars gained or lost through the removal or re-placement of Facebook advertisements a major source of revenue for American Airlines?  I doubt it.  So why care?

Holocaust Denial is not illegal in this country.  We are country that values the “idea” of free speech even if there is technically no right to free speech on Facebook.  So why care?

American Airlines and other advertisers while being able to set general parameters of where their content appears on Facebook have no idea what specific content the ads will appear with.  It is a completely  random algorithmic placement.   So why care?

No one is accusing American Airlines of supporting such views.  So why care?   Is is not much ado about not much at all?

American Airlines cared because they understand that perception is reality.  They understand that in the real world positive consumer branding and loyalty is expensive and a a constant struggle to maintain.  A positive consumer brand can take years and millions of dollars to create.  It can also be lost in an instant with one social media viral negative perception on an emotional issue whether it be Holocaust Denial or some other form of hatred towards religious, ethnic minority groups.

American Airlines understands  that in the Web 2.0 world, it is exponentially quicker and easier to destroy a  brand than create one.   They understand the concept of socially consciousness branding.  A concept apparently  lost on Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook

American Airlines is #109  on the 2008 Fortune 500 list of the largest corporations in the United States with revenues of 22,935.00(millions).  You do not have to be a marketing Phd to know that their revenues from Facebook add placement out of this is probably less than minuscule.  American Airlines still cares.

An organization called the Jewish Internet Defense Force has been spear-heading a campaign to educate corporations about these disturbing ad placements.  A representative stated:

We believe Facebook is filled with double standards and hypocrisy with regard to the enforcement of their own Terms of Service.  The problem is not limited to Holocaust denial, either.  Therefore, we plan to continue our campaigns to alert people and companies about these problems, so they will be able to make socially responsible decisions with their advertising dollars.  There’s still a lot of work to be done.

A comprehensive list of the companies the JIDF claims are enabling Holocaust Denial with ad placement can be viewed on their web site.

I suspect that neither  Dominos or Pizza Hut as corporations support Holocaust Denial.  They probably have(or had) no idea that their random/algorithmic Facebook ad rotation could occur in this manner.

Once they and other corporation become aware, what next?  Is it ok to be socially concious in your branding at the cost of a few extra pizzas sold from Facebook ads?  I think so and I love Pizza.  Especiallly when it arrives in 30 mintues or less…

8 Comments For This Post

  1. tasha Says:

    People need to care. Especially these companies. By me seeing that you dont care where your ads are place and your just about the bottom dollars makes me rethink spending my money with your company. My dad taught me that at a young age watch who you give your money to cause not everyone is supporting the right cause and you can be fueling hate!!! I hope these companies wake up to what they are doing and make a stands towards facebook

  2. JIDF (16 comments.) Says:

    Great job, Brian – thank you for continuing to help get the word out about the issues and for letting your readers know about our campaign as well.

    Hopefully Facebook will soon realize the error of their ways when it hits their pocketbook.

    It's a shame it had to get to this point and they couldn't take the original hints from thousands of their own members reporting such material.

  3. JIDF (16 comments.) Says:

    Brian, as we wrote to you directly, you claim:

    //A comprehensive list of the companies the JIDF claims are enabling Holocaust Denial with ad placement can be viewed on their web site.//

    However, this is false. We never claimed that any companies are enabling Holocaust denial through their ad placement. We provide a list of companies in order to inform them of the issue. We have always felt that Facebook is fully responsible for not taking action.

  4. wogan (1 comments.) Says:

    I deny the holocaust deniers \\m/

  5. JIDF (16 comments.) Says:

    Companies Respond to JIDF about Their Ads Appearing Beside Hateful Facebook Content
    http://www.thejidf.org/2009/06/companies-repsond-

  6. Ariela (2 comments.) Says:

    Brian did not claim they were supporting them. However, the companies are being irresponsible by allowing their ads to be placed amongst said content. This allows Facebook to collect revenue from the Holocaust Denial groups' pageviews, which can be quite a bit, hence Facebook will have even less reason to remove such groups from their midst (even though they violate their TOS).

  7. Mark A.D. Says:

    (PART 1)“THE DARK SIDE OF FACEBOOK, AKA, “DISGRACEBOOK,” OR FACEBOOKS COMPLETE LACK OF CUSTOMER SERVICE”

    The unaired dark side of Facebook, or should I call it “Disgracebook” because of the extremely poor disgraceful way Facebook treats its members. The reason I say the unaired dark side of Facebook is I have yet to see anything announced on the prime time major news outlets about the disgraceful practices Facebook uses on its members. The Internet is bursting at its seems with unhappy disabled Facebook members who have posted thousands of complaints everywhere it is possible to post complaints about Facebooks complete lack of customer service and mean spirited disregard for concerns, questions and feedback from members and former members.

    If anyone thinks Facebook is “listening” to its members or advertisers or anyone wanting to communicate with them, they simply DO NOT know what they are talking about! Facebook ruthlessly, rigorously, relentlessly, and remorselessly walks all over its members with hob nailed boot polices of culling members from membership for unspecified unknown reasons and then accuses the permanently disabled unacceptable members as “possibly” being guilty of spamming or “possibly” being guilty of harassing other members because of asking too many members to be friends at an unspecified rate. Facebook goes on to permanently disable unacceptable members accounts that have too many friends, belongs to too many groups, pokes too many unknown times, sends too many email messages and on and on and on. The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, says that Facebook members seem to take a “personal ownership” of their Facebook accounts. Well, golly gee Mark, Facebook is supposedly a SOCIAL Internet program that people join to meet and make new friends. Making new friends, at least to me, is personal and publishing real photographs and genuine personal information on Facebook seems personal to me. Maybe you should say in your rules and regulations that Facebook wants members to be real and genuine but do not join Facebook for personal reasons and do not expect to be treated in a true genuine caring manner because Facebook does not care in the least about what you think or how you feel. When Facebook says you are guilty of breaking polices you will be treated with complete lack of respect in an impersonal sterile manner and declared unacceptable and permanently banned from Facebook without recourse.

    On Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Fan Page Mark states “I’m trying to make the world a more open place by helping people connect and share.” I am glad Mark says he is “trying etc.” because, in my opinion, he certainly has NOT accomplished his mission. Facebook is one of the most closed undemocratic uncaring unsocial business operations since the formation of the Gestapo. Facebook operates carte blanche without regard of a due process of rights for members Facebook deems unacceptable to be a member of its supposed Internet social network service and therefore, disables their account without warning. Facebook justifies its policy and actions under the euphemism of “protecting members” from “repeated actions that COULD BE CONSTRUED as spam,” and from anything Facebook makes up to be a threat to its security. Although Facebook publishes what it SAYS are its rules and regulations, Facebooks security is a computer program of unpublished nonspecific rules and regulations that are enforced by an automated, autocratic, uncaring broadly defined bureaucratic computer program that members violate without knowing it and then booted out of Facebook. If this is not Gestapo like policy, I guess I do not know what it is because it certainly is un-American to say the least!

    Furthermore, in my opinion, Facebook is NOT a Internet “social network service.” When joining Facebook you are, in reality, joining an Internet money making “computer advertising program” that is set up to look like a Internet “social network service” for the public. In essence, the Internet “social network service” is a screen or cover for a “computerized advertising” empire designed with one thing in mind, the bottom line profits for Facebook investors. I am all for investors making a profit and if the investors will wake up they can increase their profits by paying attention to the consumer members of Facebook. As it stands now, the consumer is NOT king on Facebook. Facebook can at any time without having to explain its decision declare any member persona non grata. Is it any wonder Facebook members are treated with total disregard for being feeling thinking real people? I have yet to know of a computer program that is able to feel and or to reason. When placing a phone call to Facebook you are treated rudely and crassly informed to use their computerized automated services, which do not reply when used or quickly transferred to an automated answering service to which there is no reply. (CONTINUED IN PART 2)

  8. Mark A.D. Says:

    (PART 2, CONTINUED)“THE DARK SIDE OF FACEBOOK, AKA, “DISGRACEBOOK,” OR FACEBOOKS COMPLETE LACK OF CUSTOMER SERVICE”

    On Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Fan Page Mark states “I’m trying to make the world a more open place by helping people connect and share.” I am glad Mark says he is “trying etc.” because, in my opinion, he certainly has NOT accomplished his mission. Facebook is one of the most closed undemocratic uncaring unsocial business operations since the formation of the Gestapo. Facebook operates carte blanche without regard of a due process of rights for members Facebook deems unacceptable to be a member of its supposed Internet social network service and therefore, disables their account without warning. Facebook justifies its policy and actions under the euphemism of “protecting members” from “repeated actions that COULD BE CONSTRUED as spam,” and from anything Facebook makes up to be a threat to its security. Although Facebook publishes what it SAYS are its rules and regulations, Facebooks security is a computer program of unpublished nonspecific rules and regulations that are enforced by an automated, autocratic, uncaring broadly defined bureaucratic computer program that members violate without knowing it and then booted out of Facebook. If this is not Gestapo like policy, I guess I do not know what it is because it certainly is un-American to say the least!

    Furthermore, in my opinion, Facebook is NOT a Internet “social network service.” When joining Facebook you are, in reality, joining an Internet money making “computer advertising program” that is set up to look like a Internet “social network service” for the public. In essence, the Internet “social network service” is a screen or cover for a “computerized advertising” empire designed with one thing in mind, the bottom line profits for Facebook investors. I am all for investors making a profit and if the investors will wake up they can increase their profits by paying attention to the consumer members of Facebook. As it stands now, the consumer is NOT king on Facebook. Facebook can at any time without having to explain its decision declare any member persona non grata. Is it any wonder Facebook members are treated with total disregard for being feeling thinking real people? I have yet to know of a computer program that is able to feel and or to reason. When placing a phone call to Facebook you are treated rudely and crassly informed to use their computerized automated services, which do not reply when used or quickly transferred to an automated answering service to which there is no reply.

    Why a business would choose to advertise on “Disgracebook” is beyond my ability to understand sound business practices? I know that I will not purchase any goods or services advertised on “Disgracebook” and I urge anyone mauled by “Disgracebooks” insensitivity to boycott anything advertised by this disgraceful, despicable, sorry company!

    If “Disgracebook” is treating its foreign members as poorly as it treats its domestic members “Disgracebook” is not only giving itself a black eye it is giving the United States of America a black eye. Is there anyone out there who cares enough and can communicate with Facebook to help Facebook become a user friendly Internet social network service it claims to be?

    I strongly urge anyone interested to please research what I am informing you of because I assure you the situation I have explained is the truth and nothing but the truth so help me God. Until the media and or business community and elected officials takes notice of and makes public “Disgracebooks” dark side inhuman treatment of people Mark Zuckerberg and his staff and money making computer program will continue to execute its falsely accused unacceptable members and fill up trenches behind “Disgracebooks” California headquarters with their discarded accounts.

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