November's Facebook Boycott Update

Facebook remains a problem, and most publishers still aren't advertising on it

November's Facebook Boycott Update

The #StopHateForProfit boycott  officially ended July 31, 2020, but it seems to have informally extended in our communities — perhaps because Facebook has continued to be used to promote misinformation around science and to foment domestic terrorism. It was also caught attempting to shut down a group of outside critics in early October.

I’ve covered how publishers have responded to the initial boycott for months now (here, here, here, here, here, and here for the main posts). Now that we’re in November, I thought I’d check on where things stand.

The vast majority of the publishers I’ve been tracking have remained off Facebook’s ad platform. The first three that used it again — Harvard  Business Review Press, MIT Press, and ProQuest — began to use it more sporadically, and now only Harvard Business Review Press is a heavy user.

Harvard Business Review (which is not the Press, per se, but running ads covering products created by the Press) has been running a very robust set of ads (Facebook estimates ~1,500 ads, up from the ~120 they were running in August, the ~1,100 they were running in September, and the ~1,400 they were running in October).

The University of Toronto Press appears to be using Facebook ads consistently now.

I’m surprised that university presses — MIT Press, Harvard Business Review Press, and University of Toronto Press — are the playing this role in the story.

For this month’s update, I’ve restructured the categories a bit. I hope these new bins are self-explanatory.

Facebook ad boycott

Here’s the update. As before, only those running ads are highlighted.

Stated and Continuous Boycott Participants

  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • Annual Reviews
  • Research Square
  • University of California Press

Former Boycott Participants, Now Advertising

Harvard Business Review Press — multiple ads started August 11, 2020
University of Toronto Press — multiple ads started October 2, 2020; more started November 2, 2020

Dabblers in Facebook Ads

American Association for the Advancement of Science — active ads from August  18-September 10, 2020; new ads active in October, starting September 28, 2020
Emerald Publishing — two ads run between September 17-24, 2020
Frontiers — one ad run September 15-16, 2020
IEEE Xplore — one ad run October 2-4, 2020
MIT Press — active ads running August 12-October 22, 2020
Princeton University Press — single ad run October 6, 2020
ProQuest  — multiple ads running between July 14-August 10, 2020; a single ad  running September 2-5, 2020; and, a single ad running September 11-12, 2020

Likely Boycott Participants, Still No Ads

  • Academy of Management
  • AIP Publishing
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Anthropological Association
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Chemical Society
  • American College of Cardiology
  • American College of Chest Physicians
  • American College of Physicians
  • American Dental Association
  • American Gastroenterological Association
  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Mathematical Society
  • American Meterological Society
  • American Physiological Society
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • American Society for Nutrition
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • American Urological Association
  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • American Water Works Association
  • Biophysical Society
  • BMJ
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Canadian Science Publishing
  • Cell Press
  • De Gruyter
  • Electrochemical Society
  • Elsevier
  • Endocrine Society
  • GeoScienceWorld
  • Harvard University Press
  • Health Affairs
  • IEEE
  • ICE Publishing
  • IOP Publishing
  • IOS Press
  • JAMA
  • JBJS
  • JMIR Publications
  • Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Karger Publishers
  • Mary Ann Liebert
  • McGraw-Hill
  • Modern Language Association
  • NEJM and NEJM Knowledge+
  • Oxford University Press
  • PNAS
  • Project MUSE
  • Purdue University Press
  • Rockefeller University Press
  • RSNA
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • SAGE Publishing
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Springer Nature
  • SSRN
  • Taylor & Francis
  • Thieme
  • University of Chicago Press
  • University of Michigan Press
  • Wiley
  • Wolters Kluwer
  • Yale University Press

I’ll keep updating this list, as Facebook remains a rogue quasi-nation-state that bears watching.

Thanks for reading.

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