Ben & Jerry′s joins Facebook, Instagram ad boycott | News | DW | 24.06.2020
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Ben & Jerry's joins Facebook, Instagram ad boycott

The US ice cream company Ben & Jerry's is the latest high-profile company to announce a removal of their advertising from Facebook’s platforms in protest of their lack of action on racist and inflammatory posts.

US ice cream company Ben & Jerry's announced Wednesday that it would join a campaign to stop advertising on Facebook's various platforms as protest against the tech company's perceived lack of action over racist and inflammatory content.

"Ben and Jerry's stands with out 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 company said in a statement.

"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 amplify racism and hate."

Clothing companies Patagonia and The North Face are among those that have also said this week that they would halt advertising on the platforms. Ben and Jerry's said it would stop as of July 1.

Facebook, which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, makes the vast majority of its profits through advertising revenue.

Redad more:  EU calls for greater regulation of US tech companies

Why has the boycott been called for?

Rights groups across the US have called for advertisers to eschew Facebook in recent weeks following increased public scrutiny on racism and inequality after the police killing of unarmed Black man George Floyd and the subsequent series of global protests against police brutality and racism.

While Twitter and other online platforms have taken further steps to crack down on racist and derogatory posts, Facebook has stuck more firmly to its long-held "freedom of speech" mantra.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg faced a backlash after he refused to take action on inflammatory posts from US President Donald Trump.

"We deeply respect any brand's decision, and remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information," Carolyn Everson, vice president of Facebook's global business group, said in a statement on Monday.

Facebook removed one of Trump's adverts last week for use of a Nazi symbol.