Ben & Jerry's pulls advertising from Facebook to join boycott as part of Stop Hate For Profit campaign

‘Facebook must take the clear and unequivocal actions to stop its platform from being used to spread and amplify racism and hate,’ says company

Olivia Petter
Wednesday 24 June 2020 13:09 BST
(Getty Images)

Ben & Jerry’s has pulled its advertising from Facebook for July as part of the Stop Hate For Profit campaign that is calling on the platform to implement harsher measures to prevent racism and hateful content being published by its users.

The ice cream company is just one of the brands to join the campaign, which was launched on Wednesday by advocacy groups including the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP.

Other brands that have vowed to pull advertising from Facebook for the duration of July include North Face, REI, and Patagonia.

“We have long seen how Facebook has allowed some of the worst elements of society into our homes and our lives,” explained Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive officer of the Anti-Defamation League, in a statement.

“Our organisations have tried individually and collectively to push Facebook to make their platforms safer, but they have repeatedly failed to take meaningful action.

“We hope this campaign finally shows Facebook how much their users and their advertisers want them to make serious changes for the better.”

Announcing its participation in the campaign on Twitter, Ben & Jerry’s wrote: “We will pause all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the US in support of the #StopHateForProfit campaign.

“Facebook, Inc. must take the clear and unequivocal actions to stop its platform from being used to spread and amplify racism and hate.”

The tweet has so far received more than 10,000 likes and 3,000 retweets from fans praising the company for supporting the campaign.

“All corporations need to follow the @benandjerrys handbook when it comes to taking a stand,” tweeted one person.

Another added: “Your leadership in this fight is truly inspiring.”

Carolyn Everson, VP of Global Business Group at Facebook, commented: “We 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 organisations are about how, together, we can be a force for good.”

Facebook outlined the actions it is taking to advance racial justice on the platform in a statement issued on Sunday.

“Our apps were built to give people a voice,” the statement began. “Every day, people come together to learn, organise and inspire others on critical issues. We believe that building an inclusive society depends upon people being able to share their diverse perspectives.

“But we recognise that words are not enough. We are also taking action.”

The statement went on to outline some of the actions it would be taking, such as reviewing its policies on “potential options for handling violating or partially-violating content aside from the binary leave-it-up or take-it-down decisions”.

The statement concluded: “This is the beginning of a very long but essential journey.

“We have so far to go to overcome racial injustice in America and around the world, and we are committed to doing our part to fight systemic racism.”

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