An interesting question raised by Izabella Kaminska in an interesting Financial Times piece.
The last time chief executive Mark Zuckerberg put profits ahead of principles he was accused of facilitating Russian intervention in US elections. Bowing to boycotters — many of which are multinationals or, as in the case of Unilever, domiciled abroad — could qualify as a form of political intervention or silencing.
Unilever is a British-Dutch company. Its headquarters is in the UK.
Its participation in the Facebook boycott, which is leveraged at censoring conservatives and, in particular, President Trump, is indeed a fairly blatant case of election interference, conspiring to prevent a political candidate and his supporters, from having a forum.
And not just any forum, but the largest forum around.
What is particularly damning is that Unilever’s boycott statement specifically mentioned the election.
Through this framework, we are actively engaging with all digital platforms to make meaningful change and impact trust and transparency. We have made substantial progress, and we acknowledge the efforts of our partners, but there is much more to be done, especially in the areas of divisiveness and hate speech during this polarized election period in the U.S
This is all Newspeak for censoring conservatives. And it specifically mentions the election period.
Other foreign companies, including Adidas, Puma, Honda, and Volkswagen, the Nazi era German company, have also joined the attack on our political system.
Companies like Adidas, Puma, Coca Cola, Levi’s and many more have responded in the call out to Facebook to better police hateful, misleading and/or discriminatory comments.
Honda too is one of these companies. “For the month of July, American Honda is withholding its advertising on Facebook and Instagram. We choose to stand with people united against hate and racism. This is in alignment with our company’s values, which are grounded in human respect,” the Japanese car maker has said.
This is foreign election interference and much more serious than Democrat/media fantasies about Russia.
Foreign companies are working to suppress an American political candidate and party by boycotting a dominant social media platform.
President Trump has the ability to respond to this and should do so by imposing sanctions on the foreign companies interfering in our political system and on their products.
Those could also include sanctions against foreign CEOs such as Honda’s Takahiro Hochigo and Unilever’s Alan Jope for interfering in American elections.