25.06 2020 13:39h

Why are companies boycotting Facebook?

Ben & Jerry's and apparel company The North Face are just some of the companies who are pulling out of Facebook advertising
Facebook, Social Media News, Boycott Facebook

A number of major apparel brands have promised to pull advertising money from Facebook as part of a co-ordinated campaign to pressure the social media giant to crack down on hate speech and misinformation amid nationwide civil-rights protests and the lead-up to the 2020 US presidential election.

Outdoor apparel brand The North Face on June 19 tweeted "we're out," and confirmed to Bloomberg that it has pulled ad spending for both the main Facebook social network and its photo-sharing app Instagram until August.

On June 21, Patagonia also pledged an advertising pause. On Tuesday, outdoor outfitter Arc'teryx said it would halt Facebook spending at least until the end of July, followed closely by popular ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's Homemade, part of Unilever.

The six companies have more than 19 million combined Facebook followers, and more than 13 million on Instagram.

For years, Facebook has been the target of politicians and nonprofit groups seeking to challenge the company's power over user data and speech content.

According to The Guardian, Joy Howard, chief marketing officer of the password manager Dashlane, one of the participants in the boycott, said: “Facebook is not committed to change. They will only say what money makes them say. It’s time for us to put our money where their mouth is.”

Facebook's Carolyn Everson, vice-president of Facebook’s global business group. has said, "We respect any brand’s decision, and remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information. Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organisations are about how, together, we can be a force for good."

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