US companies boycott Facebook. They refuse to advertise because of racism and calls for hatred on the social network

Another reaction of large companies to protests due to the death of George Floyd.

June 17 amid continuing protests against Racism several public organizations have created a campaign «Stop hate to profit», urging brands to give up advertising to Facebook. So they decided to put pressure on the social network to increase the moderation of racist and xenophobic publications, as well as posts with false information about the protesters.

The North Face, Magnolia Pictures, Patagonia, and other brands joined the campaign, abandoning Facebook ads until the end of July. The social network said that it was already working on the fight against hateful publications.

Activists urge brands to abandon Facebook ads by protesting “hate politics”

On June 17, activists from six organizations, including the Jewish Human Rights Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), launched the Stop hate to profit campaign, urging brands to stop advertising on Facebook before the end of July.

According to activists and the brands that joined them, Facebook is not actively fighting incitement to protesters, hatred , bullying, racism, and misinformation about the upcoming elections. Therefore, advertising can coexist with racist content, thereby worsening the brand image.

Facebook is also accused of indulging in disinformation related to US elections. For example, a recent statement by Donald Trump that the results of voting by mail are supposedly easy to fake, Twitter marked as “misleading information”, but Facebook did not.

Activists have compiled a list of requirements for Facebook.

  • Strengthen moderation after a user complains about bullying or harassment;
  • Create a transparent reporting of complaints received and actions taken by the company;
  • Automatically remove ads containing misinformation or incitement to hatred;
  • Return money to the advertiser whose ad appeared next to the prohibited content;
  • Moderate closed extremist groups.

Organizers also oppose the support of far-right publications. For example, in 2019, Facebook recognized Breitbart as “trustworthy,” although nationalist publications allegedly appeared on the site several times .

The North Face, Patagonia, Magnolia Pictures and other brands joined the campaign.

For several days, the Stop Hate to Profit campaign was supported by several major brands. The North Face said on Twitter that joins the requirements of organizations, abandoning advertising on Facebook at least until July, “The platform should be developed.”

Cory Byers , chief marketer for the Patagonia apparel brand , said he was temporarily refusing advertising on the social network, as “profit is not worth promoting violence, anti-Semitism, racism.” Byers believes that “Facebook has not taken the necessary steps for too long to stop the spread of hatred, lies and dangerous propaganda on its platform.”

Unilever-owned ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s joined the boycott, canceling all Facebook and Instagram ads from July 1. Arc’teryx, a Canadian advertising agency, has also suspended ads on two social networks until the end of July, and will send the remaining money to charity.

Until the end of July, the Magnolia Pictures film distributor also refused to advertise on Facebook, saying on Twitter that the company is “striving for significant changes on Facebook and stopping their incitement to hatred.” The boyfriends joined the clothing brand REI , Dashlane , UpWork and others. The large advertising agency 360i not only itself refused advertising, but also calls on its customers through the newsletter.

According to ADL and NAACP, Facebook’s annual revenue is approximately $ 70 billion, 99% of which is ad revenue.

Facebook assures brands that it has already taken steps to combat disinformation and racism in the social network

Facebook sent a letter to major advertising partners informing them of steps taken to combat hateful content, told The New York Times.

We deeply respect the decision of any brand and continue to focus on the important work of eliminating hate speech and providing critical voting information.

Carolyn Everson

Facebook Vice President of Global Marketing Solutions

Most of the boycotting Facebook brands plan to continue advertising on the social network after resolving the differences. Barry Lowenthal, the director of Media Kitchen advertising agency, calls this “hypocritical” and encourages companies to switch to other advertising platforms: TikTok, Amazon and Snapchat.

 

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