Yesterday, Ben & Jerry's became the most recent brand to join the NAACP, Color of Change, and the Anti-Defamation League's #StopHateForProfit Campaign. The campaign is focused on targeting the spread of hate and misinformation on social media, specifically Facebook and Instagram, which Facebook owns. One way that the campaign is putting pressure on Facebook to adopt its recommendations to stop online hate and extremism is by encouraging companies to boycott advertising on Facebook and Instagram, which is exactly what Ben & Jerry's is doing.
In a statement released Tuesday, the Vermont-based ice cream company announced that starting July 1, it will pause all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the United States. "Ben & Jerry's stands with our friends at the NAACP and Color of Change, the ADL, and all those calling for Facebook to take stronger action to stop its platforms from being used to divide our nation, suppress voters, foment and fan the flames of racism and violence, and undermine our democracy," the statement reads. "We call on Facebook, Inc. 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."
Ben & Jerry's isn't the only company that's taking the pledge to suspend its advertising with Facebook for the time being. Earlier this week, Upwork, Mozilla, North Face, REI, Eddie Bauer, and Patagonia joined the Stop Hate For Profit Campaign. Facebook's own employees have also been putting internal pressure on the social media giant to change its approach to monitoring posts that incite violence and spread misinformation. At the start of June, dozens of Facebook employees participated in a virtual walkout protesting the company's inaction toward President Trump's social media posts that supported the use of police brutality.
Ben & Jerry's has long been applauded for its progressive views and values and reputation for taking action on issues of racial justice, climate justice, LGBT equality, and more. The company has a history of supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement, H.R. 40 and reparations for African Americans, criminal justice reform, and ending mass incarceration. On June 2, Ben & Jerry's stated publicly that "the murder of George Floyd was the result of inhumane police brutality that is perpetuated by a culture of white supremacy," and laid out concrete steps to dismantle white supremacy in our society. It's participation in the #StopHateForProfit Campaign is just another piece of this fight.