AMERICA — Starbucks and Verizon are among some of the major advertisers that have pledged to pause advertising with Facebook in order to support the message of the #StopHateForProfit campaign that urges Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram to remove hate speech and disinformation on its social media platforms.
The campaign that over 180 companies have joined began on June 17 when a coalition of Color Of Change, NAACP, ADL, Sleeping Giants, Free Press, and Common Sense Media called on Facebook to address racism on its platforms.
Stop Hate For Profit’s website urges companies to send Facebook the following message: “Your profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence.”
Color Of Change’s website states, “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. And what has allowed Facebook to continue racist practices is the $70B of revenue from corporations every year.”
CNBC reported that Starbucks joined the movement on Sunday, June 28, revealing that the company told them, “We believe in bringing communities together, both in person and online, and we stand against hate speech. We believe more must be done to create welcoming and inclusive online communities, and we believe both business leaders and policy makers need to come together to affect real change.”
Verizon joined the boycott on June 25 after receiving a letter stating that a Verizon advertisement appeared “next to a video from the conspiracy group QAnon drawing on hateful and antisemitic rhetoric.”
On June 26, Facebook’s stock fell by more than 8%.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has responded to this movement with revisions to policies such as banning ads that claim people from one race are a threat to the safety of others and labeling specific “newsworthy” posts to include speeches from politicians.
However, organizers of the ad boycott have claimed these changes are not enough.
“Unfortunately, the sum total of these exercises reveal that Facebook has been spending more time on their messaging rather than addressing the underlying problems on the platform,” Stop Hate For Profit’s website states.