Facebook is placing a warning at the beginning of PETA animal abuse videos which is putting off some viewers which in turn weakens PETA’s campaigns. They do this by putting up a black screen when the video play button is clicked which states, “This video may show violent or graphic content”. You can see an example below:
This is a newish development. PETA argues that this reduces the number of people who view their videos. And they rely on their direct, difficult-to-view and digest videos to get their message across about animal abuse. PETA wants the public to decide for themselves. If a viewer does not like the video and finds it uncomfortable they can turn it off. PETA believes that Facebook is censoring their work unjustifiably.
They have asked Facebook to change their minds on this without success. They have asked their supporters to push Facebook but no change.
“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.”
As a last resort, on July 1st 2019, PETA bought sufficient shares in Facebook to allow them to submit a shareholder resolution, attend Facebook’s AGM and challenge their executives.
This is the best way to put pressure on FB’s management. Shareholders have the ultimate power provided they have sufficient shares and therefore clout.
It is an interesting development. FB have been criticised heavily for allowing animal abuse videos on their platform. I have criticised them but these are videos which celebrate animal abuse. PETA’s videos are intended to stop animal abuse. This is the opposite objective. Therefore FB are wrong.
Google are doing the same thing. They have made it impossible for me to use their advertising across PoC because they object to their adverts being on pages where for example I show the scratched hand of a person! It is quite mad. They object to pages that fight for animal welfare where the images are uncomfortable. Google has become confused about images of animal abuse. There are two types. In one the accompanying text criticises animal abuse and uses the images to support the argument for better animal welfare. The other shows animal abuse for voyeurs who enjoy seeing it and doing it. The latter should be deleted. The former should be left alone.