LOS ANGELES - Companies and organizations are putting a pause on Facebook and Instagram advertising to stand in solidarity with the Black community.
Patagonia, REI and Northface are just some of the companies which have publicly announced their support in recent days for the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign.
The growing movement asks advertisers to pause all spending on Facebook-owned platforms for the month of July to show support and demand stricter policies against racist and hateful content on the social media sites.
The campaign, which was started by Color of Change, along with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and other civil rights groups demanded that Facebook “make their platforms safer for the millions of Black people that use it.”
On June 17, Color of Change unveiled its initiative, stating, “From the monetization of hate speech to discrimination in their algorithms to the proliferation of voter suppression to the silencing of Black voices, Facebook has refused to take responsibility for hate, bias, and discrimination growing on their platforms.”
The non-profit advocacy organization added, “And what has allowed Facebook to continue racist practices is the $70B of revenue from corporations every year. Companies have a choice to make about whether they want their businesses featured on Facebook’s platforms side-by-side with racist attacks on Black people.”
Color of Change asked advertisers to support “Stop Hate for Profit” to send a message to Facebook that they must change their practices, and that advertisers will not support a company that puts profit over safety.
Verizon is the latest company to pause advertising on Facebook. The company decided to support the initiative after hearing about an open letter written by the Anti-Defamation League to convince social media companies to put people over profit. The ADL posted a series of screenshots of brands' ads on Facebook next to offensive imagery. A Verizon ad was included as one of their examples.
ADL wrote, "We found an advertisement for Verizon appearing next to a video from the conspiracy group QAnon drawing on hateful and antisemitic rhetoric, warning that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is planning to bring on civil war with concentration camps and coffins at the ready and claiming Americans are already quarantined in militarized districts."
In a statement to Ad Age, Verizon wrote, "We're pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is conistent with what we've done with YouTube and other partners."
Patagonia, the outdoor apparel brand, joined the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign.In a company statement, Patagonia’s Head of Marketing, Cory Bayers, wrote, “We will pull all ads on Facebook and Instagram, effective immediately, through at least the end of July, pending meaningful action from the social media giant.”
In a series of tweets on Twitter, Bayers added, “We stand with #StopHateforProfit in saying Facebook’s profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism, and violence.”
On June 19, The North Face announced its intention to support #StopHateforProfit. The company made the announcement on Twitter, posting, “We’re in. We’re out @Facebook.”
“Effective June 19th, The North Face is halting all activity and U.S. paid advertising with Facebook in an effort to support the implementation of stricter policies to stop racist, violent or hateful content and misinformation from circulating on the platform,” a statement read.
“We know that for too long harmful, racist rhetoric and misinformation has made the world unequal and unsafe, and we stand with the NAACP and the other organizations who are working to #StopHateforProfit.”
The company said that they would stop all activity with Facebook, paid and organic. On Instagram, paid advertising will stop, but they will continue to post to the platform organically.
On June 19, REI announced it would pull all Facebook and Instagram advertising for the month of July.
The company posted on Twitter, “For 82 years, we have put people over profits. We’re pulling all Facebook/Instagram advertising for the month of July.”
On June 19, Upwork also announced its decision to stop advertising on Facebook ads.
They wrote, “Upwork is hitting pause on hate with no Facebook advertising in July. #StopHateForProfit”
“As the world’s largest on-demand remote talent platform, we are committed to building a safe and inclusive space for companies and professionals. We cannot stand by and be complicit to or complacent about the spread of hate, racism, and misinformation, and that is why we are supporting the Stop Hate for Profit advocacy campaign, which calls for pausing advertising on all Facebook platforms in the month of July. Upwork will pause advertising on Facebook and Instagram as a part of this campaign," the statement to Fox TV read.
On Sunday, Facebook published a blog post, which discussed its stance on improving its products, programs and policies.
The company wrote, “We have a responsibility to help keep people safe on our services and to bring the world closer together. Our Community Standards outline what is and isn’t allowed on our platform. Across the most harmful types of content we work to combat, we’ve continued to strengthen our efforts to enforce our policies and bring greater transparency to our work.”
The “Stop Hate for Profit“ movement follows weeks of nationwide protests over racial injustice and police brutality. Recently, several brands have changed their logos and names due to racial stereotypes.