Ben & Jerry's to continue Facebook, Twitter brand ad boycott through 2020

Ben & Jerry's will 'continue to run paid advertising' that supports its 'ongoing activism campaigns'

Ben & Jerry's announced Wednesday that it will continue its U.S. advertising boycott against Facebook and other social media platforms through the end of 2020 in an effort to address hate on the platform.

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The ice-cream maker joined the "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign, which called on U.S. businesses and organizations to halt ads on Facebook through July in protest of the company's handling of hate speech on the platform in light of George Floyd's death, on June 23.

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"In the U.S., we are stopping all paid advertising for our products on Facebook/Instagram and Twitter for the rest of 2020 both to send a message to Facebook and Twitter, and also because this election is just too important," a spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement.

The ice-cream maker added that it will, however, "continue to run paid advertising in support of [its] ongoing activism campaigns that focus on racial justice and equity," and, more specifically, "2020 election work."

"This approach of stopping product advertising while continuing to use the platforms to advance our social justice work is consistent with the Stop Hate for Profit campaign that understands this work is too important to 'unilaterally disarm,'" the spokesperson added.

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Companies, including Coca-Cola, Boeing, Adidas, Honda, Verizon and Wallgreens, joined the campaign, which was organized by activist organizations, like the NAACP and Anti-Defamation League, in June and July.

Stop Hate for Profit also issued a statement Thursday saying the success of the campaign in July is "unmistakable" but added that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg still has a long way to go.

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"Stop Hate for Profit already forced Facebook to make a series of concessions to long-standing demands of civil rights organizations," the campaign wrote in a press release. "If not for Stop Hate for Profit and this extraordinary coalition of businesses, nonprofits and consumers, none of this would have happened. But this is not close to what needs to happen."

A Facebook spokesperson previously told FOX Business that the platform does not allow, nor does it benefit from, hate speech from its users.

"We take these matters very seriously and respect the feedback from our partners. We’re making real progress keeping hate speech off our platform, and we don't benefit from this kind of content," the spokesperson said. "But as we've said, we make policy changes based on principles, not revenue pressures."

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Facebook commissions an independent civil-rights audit every year to analyze the company's progress in addressing and removing hate speech and promoting diversity.

Auditors criticized the website in their July findings for its decision to not remove President Trump's post about mail-in ballot fraud. Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout on July 1 in protest of the company's decisions to not take action against Trump's controversial posts.

Facebook also updated its fact-check policies in late June, saying it would start flagging content it previously would not have labeled if such posts were deemed "newsworthy," even if the questionable posts were written by politicians.

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