A Campaign to Ban Advertising on Facebook to Stop Hate and Racism on the Internet
New York, NY, June 17, 2020 … In response to Facebook’s repeated failure to meaningfully address the vast proliferation of hate on its platforms, six organizations today announced a new campaign, #StopHateforProfit, that asks large Facebook advertisers to show they will not support a company that puts profit over safety. ADL (the Anti-Defamation League), the NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color Of Change, Free Press and Common Sense have created a coalition of the nation’s most storied civil rights organizations calling for some of the world’s largest corporations to pause advertising on Facebook during the month of July 2020.
The campaign is a response to Facebook’s long history of allowing racist, violent and verifiably false content to run rampant on its platform. The campaign will organize corporate and public pressure to demand Facebook stop generating ad revenue from hateful content, provide more support to people who are targets of racism and hate, and to increase safety for private groups on the platform, among other measures.
The #StopHateforProfit campaign was launched today with an ad in The Los Angeles Times asking what Facebook could do with the $70 billion in revenue that it makes from advertising each year, and highlighting that the social media company is amplifying the messages of white supremacists, permitting incitement to violence, and is failing to disrupt bad actors using the platform to do harm. The ad calls on large corporate advertisers to “send Facebook a powerful message: Your profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence.”
“Facebook remains unwilling to take significant steps to remove political propaganda from its platform,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP. “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 recognize the value that Facebook provides in connecting people of color with one another, we call into question a platform that profits from the suppression of Black votes or Black voices.”
“We have long seen how Facebook has allowed some of the worst elements of society into our homes and our lives. When this hate spreads online it causes tremendous harm and also becomes permissible offline,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “Our organizations 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.”
“We have been continually disappointed and stunned by Mark Zuckerberg’s commitment to protecting white supremacy, voter suppression and outright lies on Facebook. As corporations take a stand against racism in our society, they should consider how their advertising dollars support Facebook making Black people less safe online,” said Rashad Robinson, President of Color Of Change. “Facebook’s failure of leadership has actively stoked the racial hatred we see in our country and even profits off its proliferation. A key way for major corporations to demand racial justice is to withhold their dollars until Facebook becomes more responsible and accountable to Black communities on the platform.”
Over the last few years, Facebook has:
- 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;
- Made Breitbart News a “trusted news source” and made The Daily Caller a “fact checker” despite both publications having records of working with known white nationalists and neo-Nazis;
- Was forced to make changes to their advertising platform after a lawsuit alleged Facebook had allowed for widespread housing discrimination against communities of color;
- Silenced Black users on the platforms for calling out racism and also refused to adequately protect users from online threats;
- Failed to recognize and remove Holocaust denial as a form of hate; and
- Allowed the Facebook platform to be used in widespread voter suppression efforts, using targeted disinformation aimed at Black voters.
“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 prioritizing 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.”
ADL’s 2019 survey of Americans using social media found that Facebook was the platform where most Americans reported experiencing hate and harassment. More than 55 percent of Facebook users reporting experiencing hate and harassment on the platform.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas at naacp.org.
Since the campaign was announced the following companies have announced their plans to stop advertising on Facebook – Arc’teryx, Ben & Jerry’s, Coca-Cola, Dashlane, Eddie Bauer, Hershey’s, Honda, JanSport, Levi Strauss, Magnolia, Pictures, Patagonia, The North Face, REI, Upwork, Unilever and Verizon according to this post on CNN.