There’s currently a campaign out there, hashtagged, “Stop hate for profit.”
(And, by the way, good luck stopping anything for profit.)
To make things worse, this campaign looks like a list of corporations hoping to maximize their business by being on the right bandwagon at this particular junction in US history – while at the same time taking aim at a much bigger and more powerful member of their own club – Facebook.
It’s a staggering list of habitual “profit-at-any-cost” offenders, who critics will no doubt suspect joined the cause as a performative, business-savvy, but ultimately empty gesture when it comes to any real-world change, including more racial justice.
In fact, this might look like a move designed to do little else than keep these companies out of the largely social media-driven “cancel culture” maelstrom that is gripping the US right now, helping to shield them from the Twitter mobs.
Just look at who’s signed up to “stop hate (or anything) – for profit.”
It’s the likes of PayPal, Pepsi, BMW, HP, Doritos, The North Face, Adobe – all represented by Goodby Silverstein, an advertising agency.
It looks like these corporations are hedging their bets so carefully that they won’t even go out and actually make these statements themselves – instead it’s an advertising agency that speaks on their behalf as clients – to boycott Facebook.
The campaign was originally launched by the Anti-Defamation League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and four other groups.
And if you thought Goodby Silverstein (owned by advertising behemoth Omnicom Group) was actually in it for the long haul – you would have been wrong.
“We will join #StopHate4Profit and stop posting on Facebook for the month of July,” Goodby Silverstein specified in a post on Twitter.
The agency somehow, with all of the Facebook censorship we’ve covered, thinks Facebook is acting irresponsibly by disseminating what is seen as hate speech and racism, and also – of “misleading voter information” – whatever that may be code for.
But why sustain this “boycott” for such a short amount of time – only one month?
Goodby Silverstein offered no glimpse into the thought process behind that decision.
Facebook, meanwhile, seems to be taking the one-month boycott of its gargantuan ad business on the chin. It can certainly afford to.
“We respect any brand’s decision,” said Facebook Global Business Group VP Carolyn Everson, adding that he company “remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information.”