A host of outdoor clothing brands are boycotting advertising on Facebook as part of a Stop Hate for Profits campaign.
Companies including Patagonia, The North Face and Rei are calling for brands to stop advertising on the social media platform for the month of July.
The North Face said it was halting ads “until stricter policies are put in place to stop racist, violent or hateful content and misinformation from circulating on the platform.” Facebook said it was committed to “advancing equity and racial justice”.
“We’re taking steps to review our policies, ensure diversity and transparency when making decisions on how we apply our policies, and advance racial justice and voter engagement on our platform,” it said in a social media post on Sunday.
Patagonia said it would also be joining the boycott until “at least the end of July”. A spokesman from VF Corp, which owns The North Face, told CNN it was considering adding other brands in its portfolio to the boycott - it also owns Timberland and Vans.
Facebook has been under increasing pressure from both its own staff and outside the company, for founder Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to take down U.S. President’s Trump controversial posts
Facebook has faced heavy criticism, including from its own staff, for chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s decision not to remove a controversial post by US President Donald Trump.
Joseph Evans, head of tech at Enders Analysis, told the BBC Facebook was trying to both avoid further regulation from the US government, and maintain ad revenue. “Facebook can weather a boycott by large companies better than any other media organisation out there, as so much of its revenue comes from smaller advertisers who are unlikely to band together to make political demands,” he said.
“However, right now, lots of those small advertisers are under pressure due to Covid-19 drying up their cashflow. So we could be seeing a perfect storm. “What I expect to see is Facebook trying to walk a tightrope: interpreting its existing guidelines slightly more strictly, erring more on the side of taking down hate speech, but without much in the way of explicit policy changes that could provoke punitive regulations or get Mark Zuckerberg dragged before another Senate Committee.”
Image via Patagonia; article source BBC