The North Face is halting its Facebook ads as part of a social media boycott led by civil rights groups calling on brands to take a one-month Facebook advertising hiatus in an effort to crack down on hate speech and misinformation on the platform. “Stop Hate for Profit,” organized by the Anti-Defamation League, Color of Change, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Common Sense Media, Free Press and Sleeping Giants, follows Facebook’s refusal to remove President Trump’s offensive posts in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd by police.
Stop Hate for Profit condemned Facebook for actively choosing not to protect and support black users and call out Holocaust denial as hate.
As per StopHateforProfit.org:
“We are asking businesses to stand in solidarity with our most deeply held American values of freedom, equality, and justice and not advertise on Facebook’s services in July.”
On Friday, The North Face tweeted, “We’re in. We’re Out,” with a follow-up tweet noting that its commitment to the movement extends to all Facebook-owned properties, namely Instagram.
A few hours later, REI followed suit, saying it, too, would pull all Facebook and Instagram ads for the month of July on the premise that it has put people over profits for 82 years.
Patagonia’s head of marketing, Cory Bayers, also announced via Twitter that the brand will stand with #StopHateforProfit:
“From secure elections to a global pandemic to racial justice, the stakes are too high to sit back and let the company continue to be complicit in spreading disinformation and fomenting fear and hatred.”
Facebook’s content moderation policies have drawn backlash for propagating fake news, racism and hate speech before; the Black Lives Matter protests have only magnified the issue. After Floyd’s death, Trump took to Facebook, referring to protesters as “THUGS” and warning, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
In response, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the platform wouldn’t remove the President’s post on the basis that Facebook “should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harm or dangers spelled out in clear policies.”
As the #StopHateforProfit organizers point out, Facebook generates nearly all of its revenue through advertising. Despite marketers pausing spending in response to COVID, Facebook made $17.4 billion in Q1 from advertising alone.