• Clodagh Meaney

#StopHateForProfit: Ben & Jerry's are latest company to pull Facebook advertising due to racism

Brands are being asked to de-fund the social media site amid claims that they are complicit in platforming racism

By Clodagh Meaney

Ben & Jerry's have become the latest company to pull advertising from Facebook as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign.

The campaign has called for businesses to stand in solidarity with "most deeply held American values of freedom, equality and justice," by not advertising on Facebook's services in July.

Launched by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Sleeping Giants, Color Of Change, Free Press and Common Sense, the #StopHateforProfit coalition are asking Facebook advertisers to show that they will not support a company that is putting profit over the safety of Black people.

The campaign was created in response to Facebook's history of allowing 'fake news', as well as racist and discriminatory content running rampant on their platform.

#StopHateforProfit launched last week with an advertisement in The Los Angeles Times asking what Facebook could do with the $70 billion in revenue that it makes from advertising each year.

The advertisement also highlighted that the social media company are "amplifying the messages of white supremacists, permitting incitement to violence, and is failing to disrupt bad actors using the platform to do harm."

Speaking about the campaign, Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP said: “Facebook remains unwilling to take significant steps to remove political propaganda from its platform."

“It is clear that Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, are no longer simply negligent, but in fact, complacent in the spread of misinformation, despite the irreversible damage to our democracy."

"Such actions will upend the integrity of our elections as we head into 2020. We will not stand for this. While we recognise the value that Facebook provides in connecting people of colour with one another, we call into question a platform that profits from the suppression of Black votes or Black voices," he continued.

In the statement released by the coalition, they claimed that Facebook, Inc. allowed

"incitement to violence against protestors fighting for racial justice in America in the wake of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and many others."

The coaliation say that the social media giant silenced Black users on the platforms for calling out racism and failed to recognise and remove Holocaust denial as a form of hate.

“Facebook has become one of the largest and most profitable companies in the world by allowing disinformation, hate and incitement on its platform," said James P. Steyer, Founder and CEO of Common Sense.

“Facebook has refused to stop prioritising profits over the well-being of our society, but advertisers can, which is why we are urging companies to take a pause from spending on Facebook ads until it makes common sense changes on the platform that protect our children, our democracy and social justice in this country."

Ben & Jerry's join companies such as Dove, The North Face and Patagonia in the #StopHateForProfit campaign.

In a statement, the Ice Cream company said that "Facebook, Inc. must take the clear and unequivocal actions to stop its platform from being used to spread and amplify racism and hate."

The brand also called for Facebook to "take stronger action to stop its platforms from being used to divide our nation, suppress voters, foment and fan the flames of racism and violence, and undermine our democracy."

The company, founded in 1978 by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield have long been vocal about their support for Black Lives Matter.

© 2020 by EMPWR

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