‘They don’t give a damn’ — Cramer blasts Facebook, says do the right thing and stop hate speech

CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Tuesday that Facebook must do more to regulate and restrict hate speech on its platforms, despite any impact it could have to the company’s bottom line. 

“The time has come. History is turning against them,” Cramer said on “Squawk on the Street,” calling on the company’s board of directors to demand significant policy reforms. 

“The board has to address this, but they’re largely silent. And you know what? They don’t give a damn. They’re making a lot of money,” Cramer said. “They may think that they give a damn. What you do is you hire some people who may hurt your profits.” 

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Cramer’s remarks. 

Facebook has faced intense backlash in recent weeks over content on its platform, as hundreds of companies have temporarily pulled advertising from the social media giant as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign.

Organized by groups including the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, the boycott calls on companies to suspend advertising on Facebook for the month of July, arguing Facebook needs to do more to combat hate speech and misinformation on its vast online network. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Friday the company would now prohibit hate speech in advertisements. Zuckerberg, while not addressing the boycott specifically, also said the company would begin labeling posts that are newsworthy enough to leave up but violate other company policies. 

“I am committed to making sure Facebook remains a place where people can use their voice to discuss important issues,” Zuckerberg said. “But I also stand against hate or anything that incites violence or suppresses voting, and we’re committed to removing that content too, no matter where it comes from.”

Cramer, host of “Mad Money,” said Facebook may not agree with companies’ decisions to boycott. “Who cares if they’re wrong?” Cramer said. “Why not do what’s right? I’m not saying go left or right. ” 

Facebook’s content policies have been in focus for years, although Zuckerberg has said he believes the company should “err on the side of greater expression.”

The company has set up a Supreme Court-like board that will be able to reverse the company’s content moderation decisions. Its first members were announced in May, and it’s expected to begin hearing cases in coming months. 

In an interview Tuesday with the BBC, Steve Hatch, Facebook’s director for the U.K. and England, also said the company’s automatic content moderation has improved in recent years.  

“If we look at particularly the area of hate speech … our systems now detect and remove 90% automatically. Now that’s not perfect but we do know that’s up from 23% a couple of years ago,” Hatch said. 

Cramer acknowledged that increasing content moderation — whether it’s through software or hiring more people — will be an expensive undertaking for Facebook, potentially costing “a couple billion” dollars. “But you know what, take the hit. Take the hit,” Cramer said. 

Cramer said Facebook has to be more attentive to the concerns of advertisers and consumers alike. Much of Corporate America, in particular, has drawn a line in the sand, recognizing they do not want to be seen advertising next to hateful content, Cramer added. 

“Facebook has been trying to away with this for a long time. This seems to be one of those moments where Big Corporate America is not going to take it anymore,” Cramer said. 

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