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Big Advertiser Signs On to Facebook, Instagram Boycott

Civil rights groups call for pressure on companies to curb racist and violent content
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 22, 2020 6:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – The outdoor gear company Patagonia is the latest company to announce an advertising boycott of Facebook and its Instagram app for the month of July—or longer—saying the social media giant has "failed to take steps to stop the spread of hateful lies and dangerous propaganda on its platform." Patagonia joins the North Face and outdoor gear company REI, which have announced similar boycotts, the AP reports. It is not clear how the boycotts will affect Facebook’s advertising revenue, which was nearly $70 billion in 2019. According to Facebook's ad library, Patagonia spent nearly $1 million on ads about social issues or politics between May 2018 and June 2020. The ads got the "social issues" moniker because they were about environmental issues. A Facebook representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

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Last week, civil rights groups called on large advertisers to stop Facebook ad campaigns during July, saying the social network isn’t doing enough to curtail racist and violent content on its platform. The groups in the #StopHateforProfit campaign, launched Wednesday, include the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color Of Change, Free Press, and Common Sense. The groups say Facebook amplifies white supremacists, allows posts that incite violence and contain political propaganda and misinformation, and doesn't stop "bad actors using the platform to do harm." Facebook has been under fire for leaving up posts by President Trump that suggested police-brutality protesters in Minneapolis could be shot.

(Read more Facebook stories.)

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