Starbucks joins social media boycott

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(Starbucks won’t be ordering Grande advertising on Facebook for a while)

The Starbucks mermaid is telling Facebook and other social media channels to kiss her fin. The coffee chain is now the latest company to take a break from paid advertising on social media following. The company, like the others before it, claim social media doesn’t do enough to stop racist and violent content.

While Starbucks says its actions are not due to the growing “#StopHateforProfit” campaign, the Seattle-based brand did say it is pausing its social ads while talking with civil rights organizations and media partners about how to stop hate speech online.

Free Press and Common Sense, along with US civil rights groups Color of Change and the Anti-Defamation League, launched the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign following the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

The organizers called on brands to stop paid advertising on Facebook after CEO Mark Zukerberg refused to police Donald Trump’s posts, many of which have been proven to be false claims.

The campaign then took action against “Facebook’s long history of allowing racist, violent and verifiably false content to run rampant on its platform”.

In a list of examples, it said Facebook had failed in the following ways:

  • By allowing posts inciting violence against Black Lives Matter protesters
  • Making far-right website Breitbart News a “trusted news source”
  • Not recognizing or removing Holocaust denial
  • Allowing the platform to be used as a means to supress widespread voting, using targeted disinformation aimed at Black voters.

The coffee chain’s announcement follows Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Dove soap; Coca-Cola; Verizon, Patagonia, Eddie Bauer and REI; film company Magnolia Pictures; jeans maker Levi’s and dozens of smaller companies joining the boycott.

Some of the companies will pause ads just on Facebook, while others will refrain from advertising more broadly on social media.


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ALSO READ: A look back at the last two days of protest (Gallery)


Facebook Responds

In response to companies halting advertising, Facebook executive Carolyn Everson said last this week the social networking platform is committed to purging hateful content from its services.

“Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organizations are about how, together, we can be a force for good,” said Everson, vice president of Facebook’s global business group.

Facebook’s market value dropped Friday by more than 8 percent, or about $50 billion, as more companies said they would pause ads. Twitter stock also dropped more than 7 percent on Friday.

SOURCE: Stop Hate for Profit

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