Written by on . Pegasus.

#StopHateForProfit: the view from our social team

Our social and paid media specialists discuss the impact of the recent boycott of Facebook in the fight against hate speech on the platform.

You may have heard about the #StopHateForProfit campaign, which is calling for companies to pull their ads from Facebook and Instagram throughout July. The boycott has been sparked by President Trump’s tweets and the death of George Floyd, and aims to force Facebook to change its policies in tackling hate speech by removing its income. We spoke to our team, to get their take on the movement:

Boycotting brands need to do more

Eleanor Bishop, Social Media Specialist

I’m all in favour of brands taking a stance to make a difference and push social media platforms to take action, particularly on racism, hate speech and bullying. As self-regulating channels, social media can become a super-spreader for unacceptable behaviour.

However, it’s not enough for brands to simply take part in these types of boycotts, they need to take action themselves. They must show how they’ll be ensuring their companies have a diverse and inclusive environment for both their employees and consumers, rather than using it as a PR stunt or for fear of any backlash if they don’t partake.

Brands must first get their house in order

Eshé Brown, Influencer and Graphic Designer

Whilst it’s great to see brands using their power to wield positive change, it’s important that companies don’t just make this statement alone, or they could end up in hot water. A recent example of this turning sour, was when L’Oréal all too quickly jumped to support #blackouttuesday on social media and “injustice of any kind” only to face blacklash from transgender model Munroe Bergdorf (and her 459K followers). She claimed they terminated her contract in 2017, after she spoke out about racism and white supremacy.

It’s important for brands to evaluate their own culture and organisational setup, before making bold statements online. Decision-makers should look at ways they can support existing and new initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion and educate people on issues of racial inequality. Those that don’t, might find their actions perceived merely as a publicity stunt, or an opportunity to save on marketing spend, rather than a genuine move to combat hate.

Will Facebook take real action?

Tom Roberts, Paid Media Specialist

Over 500 businesses, including global brands Adidas, Disney and Coca Cola are standing in solidarity and pausing all paid activity across the Facebook platform in July.

Facebook collected more than US$17 bn in the first quarter of 2020. The bulk of that coming from millions of smaller businesses that rely heavily on the platform. With fewer big spenders on the platform, it will be interesting to see how it impacts small and medium-sized business that rely on Facebook advertising to run their business.

Facebook recently shared an overview of existing and ongoing work in response to the #StopHateForProfit recommendations. It has pledged its commitment to ensuring that everyone who uses their platforms can stay safe, so as part of their ongoing effort, its making changes to policies, investing in system transparency and addressing the 10 recommendations outlined by the #StopHateForProfit boycott campaign. Let’s hope this is a step in the right direction towards hate being a thing of the past on social media.

is a Graphic Designer at Pegasus and author of food blog, Foodie Eshe.