Patagonia, The North Face and REI Join Facebook Advertising Boycott
The Stop Hate for Profit campaign seeks to stem "hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence"
On June 17, a full-page ad appeared in the Los Angeles Times calling on companies to halt advertising on Facebook in July in an effort to stop the social-media platform from “promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence.” Five days later, Patagonia, The North Face and REI — three of the most prominent outdoor gear brands in the U.S. — joined the cause, and more big-name companies may be on the way.
The campaign, called Stop Hate for Profit (with the accompanying hashtag #StopHateforProfit), is organized by civil rights and other advocacy groups, including the NAACP, Color of Change, the Anti-Defamation League and others. As CNN reported, the coalition wants Facebook to address its “repeated failure to meaningfully address the vast proliferation of hate on its platforms.”
While the boycott doesn’t officially start for over a week, when Patagonia announced it would join the effort on Sunday, the brand wrote on Twitter it would “pull all ads on Facebook and Instagram, effective immediately, through at least the end of July, pending meaningful action from the social media giant.”
For too long, Facebook has failed to take sufficient steps to stop the spread of hateful lies and dangerous propaganda on its platform.
— Patagonia (@patagonia) June 21, 2020
A few of the grievances the Stop Hate for Profit campaign cites: legitimizing right-wing websites Breitbart News and The Daily caller “despite both publications having records of working with known white nationalists,” as well as allowing Holocaust denial and “incitement to violence” against recent Black Lives Matter protesters on the platform.
In response, Facebook offered this statement to CNN: “We deeply respect any brand’s decision and remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information. Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organizations are about how, together, we can be a force for good.”
For its part, Facebook has shown some small signs the notoriously hands-off platform could be open to changing its ways. Last week, the platform removed an ad from President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign for violating its policy on hate.
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