PlayStation pulls ads from Facebook: #StopHateforProfit Campaign Looks to Expand Globally

Despite Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a change in direction on the platform’s efforts to address hate speech, and content from politicians, more brands have declared their intention to join the #StopHateforProfit campaign, which has called on businesses to pause their Facebook ad spend in July in protest over the company’s content policies.

Organised by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the New York-based Anti-Defamation League, and several more non-profits, the protest boycott was launched after Facebook decided not to remove contentious posts by US President Donald Trump.

The campaign says that Facebook has allowed speech “which incites violence against protesters fighting for racial justice”, and has called on corporate America to stand up against Facebook’s policies.

So far, more than 100 brands have announced that they’ll halt their Facebook ad spend for the month, with Playstation being the latest big name to pause its ads. Among the other big names are Starbucks, Unilever, Coca Cola, Verizon, and Levi’s.

“In support of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, we have globally suspended our Facebook and Instagram activity, including advertising and non-paid content, until the end of July,” PlayStation said in a statement, to GamesIndustry.Biz. “We stand for working (and playing) together for good.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seems unfazed by the ongoing protest. In a report by The Information, Zuckerberg was quoted saying that the boycott is more of a “reputational and a partner issue” and also remarked that “my guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.”

Annually, Facebook generates US$70 billion in advertising sales and about a quarter of it comes from big companies such as Unilever with the vast majority of its revenue derived from small businesses.

Stop Hate for Profit has outlined a set of demands, which include a separate moderation process to help users who are targeted by race and other identifiers, more transparency on how many incidents of hate speech are reported, and to stop generating ad revenue from harmful content.