Ben & Jerry’s halts Facebook advertising to join #StopHateforProfit campaign

24 Jun 2020

Image: ElectricEgg/Depositphotos

Ben & Jerry’s is to pull all advertising from Facebook in the US, demanding the company take ‘clear and unequivocal actions’ against racism.

A growing number of companies supporting the #StopHateforProfit campaign have agreed to pause all paid advertising on Facebook. Now, ice cream producer Ben & Jerry’s has joined the campaign and said that it is calling on Facebook to “take stronger action to stop its platforms from being used to … foment and fan the flames of racism and violence”.

“As of 1 July, we will pause all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the US as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign,” Ben & Jerry’s said in a statement.

“We call on Facebook to take the clear and unequivocal actions called for by the campaign to stop its platform from being used to spread and amplify racism and hate.”

Earlier this week, several companies announced they were to join the #StopHateForProfit campaign, launched on 17 June by groups including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Color of Change and the Anti-Defamation League.

‘We recognise there is more to be done’

These companies included North Face, REI and Patagonia, followed by others such as Mozilla and the freelance job listing site Upwork. In statement about the campaign, Color of Change said that is has spent the past five years calling for Facebook to take action against the monetisation of hate speech.

“From the monetisation of hate speech to discrimination in their algorithms to the proliferation of voter suppression to the silencing of black voices, Facebook has refused to take responsibility for hate, bias, and discrimination growing on their platforms,” it said.

Color of Change claimed this allows Facebook to facilitate racist practices while generating $70bn a year in advertising revenue. Facebook issued a statement on 21 June to say that it was taking action against racism on its platforms because it recognises “words are not enough”.

“We recognise there is more to be done to support equality and safety for black and diverse communities through our platforms,” the company said. “We continue to welcome dialogue on how we can do more to take action and help ensure that our platform and policies are used to build an inclusive society. This is the beginning of a very long but essential journey.”

A Ben & Jerry’s shop sign. Image: ElectricEgg/Depositphotos

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic