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Patagonia and The North Face want to boycott Facebook

A form of protest against the fake news spread by the social media giant

Patagonia and The North Face want to boycott Facebook A form of protest against the fake news spread by the social media giant

Facebook Ads and fake news on social media are one of the hottest topics of recent years. On the one hand, Facebook would like to position itself as a neutral medium of content transmission but, on the other hand, the broad links of its policy give everyday space to thousands of fake news capable of altering the collective perception of news, events and also influencing the general election – as trumpism has made clear over the past four years. That's why The North Face and Patagonia joined the #StopHateForProfit campaign, promising to suspend all social sponsorships on Facebook and Instagram in the month of July. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) which is the main promoter of the campaign issued a statement on June 18:

«It is clear that Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, are no longer simply negligent, but in fact, complacent in the spread of misinformation, despite the irreversible damage to our democracy».

The day after the NAACP's statement on the Juneteenth anniversary, The North Face stated that it would join the initiative and, yesterday, Patagonia also joined the cause. Patagonia's head of marketing, Cory Bayers, said:

«We will pull all ads on Facebook and Instagram, effective immediately, through at least the end of July […]. For too long, Facebook has failed to take sufficient steps to stop the spread of hateful lies and dangerous propaganda on its platform. […] We can’t stand by and contribute resources to companies that contribute to the problem. We stand with #StopHateforProfit in saying Facebook’s profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism, and violence».

The initiative promoted by the NAACP is one of the most daring and direct towards a very heated debate that concerns issues such as freedom of the press and expression, propaganda and political manipulation, democracy and, ultimately, the power that tech companies have on society. In this regard, it caused waves the decision of Twitter that, at the end of last May, had begun fact-checking Donald Trump's posts by launching a double controversy about the future effects of the interference of tech companies in the information and the tendency of a certain side of politics to manipulate news stories in their favour.