Civil rights groups in the United States have blasted Facebook's leadership as arrogant and obsessed with "spin" after a fruitless meeting with Mark Zuckerberg.
Leaders of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which now includes more than 1,000 Facebook advertisers, had hoped to secure concrete commitments towards cracking down on hate speech.
But they left the hour-long Zoom summit on Tuesday describing Facebook's response as "very disappointing" and accusing it of trying to "placate" them with "the same old talking points".
In a Facebook post pre-empting the meeting, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said the company makes policy changes "not for financial reasons or advertiser pressure, but because it is the right thing to do".
The summit came one day before Facebook plans to release the final part of its independent civil rights audit, which previously branded the company's policy on white supremacy "too narrow".
Met with Mark Zuckerberg and @Facebook leadership today. It was a disappointment. They have had our demands for years and yet it is abundantly clear that they are not yet ready to address the vitriolic hate on their platform.— Rashad Robinson (@rashadrobinson) July 7, 2020
It is clear from our meeting earlier today that instead of actually responding to the demands of the advertisers that joined the #StopHateForProfit movement, Facebook wants us to accept the same old rhetoric, repackaged as a fresh response. Our statement: https://t.co/q45CbGZpiC— ADL (@ADL) July 7, 2020
Jonathan Greenblatt, head of the Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL), said: "Today's meeting with Mark Zuckerberg and his leadership yielded familiar results: no changes, no timeline, no response to our specific requests.
"With a stroke of a pen, Facebook could be made safer and better for its users, advertisers and society on a whole. Yet today they showed they don’t have interest in doing that."
Derrick Johnson, chief executive of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured Peoples (NAACP), said he had "watched conversation blossom into nothingness" for two years, while Jessica González, co-head of media reform group Free Press, said Facebook had treated the meeting as "nothing more than a PR exercise".
All three organisations had backed a month-long advertising boycott of Facebook's services that has persuaded major spenders including Unilever, Pfizer, Adidas and Ford.
The boycott leaders have made ten demands, including a top-level executive devoted to civil rights, regular third-party audits of hate speech on its services, a ban on holocaust denial and ending its famous fact-checking exemption for politicians.
However, the boycott has yet to make a clear impact on Facebook's bottom line, and the company has repeatedly said that it will not make policy changes in response to financial pressures.
Facebook responded on Tuesday by citing actions it had already taken, such as the "billions" it has invested in both automatic and human moderation and the internal hate speech statistics that it already releases.
A spokesman said: "[Boycott organisers] want Facebook to be free of hate speech, and so do we.... We know we will be judged by our actions, not our words, and are grateful to these groups and many others for their continued engagement."
Ms Sandberg said the company would not adopt all of the new civil rights audit's recommendations, but promised that it would "continue to listen and learn".
Mr Zuckerberg has been more forthright, telling employees that the boycott only threatened "a small per cent of our revenue" and predicting that advertisers will "return to the platform soon enough".