Adidas, Reebok join Facebook ads boycott in July

The social network faces corporate backlash over policies on hate speech, misinformation

Adidas and its subsidiary Reebok will pause advertising on Facebook and Instagram throughout the month of July, joining other corporate brands in boycotting the social media platform out of concern for its policies on hate speech.

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“Racist, discriminatory, and hateful online content have no place in our brand or in society,” the sports apparel brands said in a statement Monday. “As we focus on better practices within our company and communities to ensure lasting change in the fight against racism, Adidas and Reebok will also pause advertising on Facebook and Instagram globally throughout July.”

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Executives at Adidas and Reebok will use the 30-day pause in advertising to “develop criteria to hold ourselves and every one of our partners accountable for creating and maintaining safe environments.”

A growing number of companies have pulled advertising from Facebook and other social media platforms alongside a boycott organized by several civil rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP and Sleeping Giants. The “Stop Hate For Profit” campaign argues that social media platforms haven’t done enough to address racism and hate speech on their platforms.

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Facebook was singled out for criticism in recent days after company executives initially declined to add a warning label to a President Trump post that looting would lead to shooting during nationwide protests against racial inequality. The company announced last week that would begin to label posts from politicians that violate its policies.

So far, the policy change has done little to slow down an exodus of corporate advertisers. Companies that pulled advertising from Facebook and other social media platforms in recent days include Clorox, PepsiCo, Patagonia, Coca-Cola and Starbucks.

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In response to the boycott, Facebook said it “spends billions of dollars each year to keep our community safe and continuously work with outside experts to review and update our policies.”

We know we have more work to do, and we’ll continue to work with civil rights groups, GARM, and other experts to develop even more tools, technology and policies to continue this fight," a Facebook spokesperson said.

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