In today’s society, it is almost impossible to go on Facebook and not see ads. Think you need a new microwave? Five ads on microwaves magically pop up. It is also a great place to interact, learn, and stay up-to-date with friends and family. However, there is a new sense of privacy invasion that comes along with that. Any company can sponsor their way into your newsfeed.
In recent months, PETA has been upset that Facebook has been censoring its content. PETA called on its supporters to sign a form to send to Facebook allowing PETA videos to be shown on social media channels. PETA said, “Over the past few months, Facebook has been increasingly censoring PETA’s content featuring violence against animals on its Facebook and Instagram platforms. PETA’s objective is to stop animal suffering, and we rely on social media to reach people with information that they might never otherwise see.”
After not getting what they wanted, PETA decided to do what they do best — pull out their wallet.
To combat the censoring, PETA bought shares in Facebook to hopefully have more of a say on the filtering process. According to a press release, “PETA purchased shares in Facebook, enabling the group to submit a shareholder resolution, attend the company’s annual meetings, and ask questions of executives there. The move comes after the social media platform upped its use of warning screens on PETA videos showing real-life incidents of routine cruelty to animals, significantly limiting the group’s ability to expose animal suffering to a wide audience.”
“People deserve to see what animals endure in laboratories, on factory farms and in slaughterhouses, when they’re skinned or plucked alive for clothing, and when they’re beaten so that they’ll perform tricks,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA urges Facebook to follow Twitter’s lead by allowing users to decide for themselves whether they want to opt in or out of warning covers.”
Buying shares in a company and pressuring management is a normal tactic for PETA. In the past, PETA has bought just enough stock in companies to attend their annual meeting and bring their issues to the table. For example, PETA has bought stock in Levi, Boohoo, Sea World, Louis Vitton, and others.
For the agricultural industry, we need to be on red alert. PETA has one underlying mission — to get people to stop eating meat and stop using animals for anything. We must ask ourselves, what content is being sponsored and by who? What other content could Facebook be strong-armed into censoring? We must follow the money trail! We must also reach out to our suburban friends and family. Now, more than ever, we must tell our stories and the truth.
Not to worry, this isn’t the end of Facebook for agriculture. If anything, this is when we need to be on it more, telling our truth. Don’t forget that Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, recently asked a farm family to come to Facebook HQ to attend a community summit.