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Outdoor equipment firm Patagonia announces Facebook advertising boycott

The California-based firm said the ban will take place for the month of July – or longer.

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The StopHateForProfit campaign is looking to take effect next month (Niall Carson/PA)

The StopHateForProfit campaign is looking to take effect next month (Niall Carson/PA)

The StopHateForProfit campaign is looking to take effect next month (Niall Carson/PA)

US outdoor equipment company Patagonia has become the latest company to announce an advertising boycott of Facebook and its Instagram app.

The firm, based in Ventura, California, said the ban will take place for the month of July – or longer – adding that 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 the outdoor gear company REI, which have announced similar boycotts in recent days.

It is not clear how much the boycotts will affect Facebook’s advertising revenue, which was nearly 70 billion dollars (£56 billion) in 2019, making up nearly all of its total revenue for the year.

Patagonia spent nearly one million dollars (£800,000) on advertisements about social issues or politics between May 2018 and June 2020, according to Facebook’s ad library.

The ads were placed in the “social issues” category because they were about environmental issues.

Carolyn Everson, vice president of Facebook’s global business group, said: “We deeply respect any brand’s decision, and remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information.”

Last week, civil rights groups called on large advertisers to stop Facebook ad campaigns during July, saying the social network is not doing enough to curtail racist and violent content on its platform.

The groups in the #StopHateforProfit campaign, launched on Wednesday, include 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 does not stop “bad actors using the platform to do harm”.

The big tech companies have struggled over how to manage the floods of posts and videos that users put on their platforms every day.

Facebook has been under fire for deciding to leave up posts by US president Donald Trump that suggested protesters against police brutality in Minneapolis could be shot.

PA