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We’re Not Running Facebook Ads This Month. Here’s Why.

As a grassroots watchdog organization that fights big money interests, we use Facebook ads: they’re generally a cost-effective way for non-profits like us to reach more people, encourage them to take action, and to raise money to fund our work. This month, however, we won’t be running any.

The Northwest Accountability Project is joining companies and organizations worldwide in participating in the #StopHateforProfit campaign, organized by a coalition including the NAACP, Anti-Defamation League, and Color of Change. For the month of July, we will be boycotting Facebook’s paid ad products in order to take a stand against the company’s refusal to stop the spread of hate speech, misinformation, and other harmful content on its platforms.

Facebook has failed to stop the promotion of hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism, and violence. As the #StopHateforProfit campaign wrote, Facebook could use the billions it earns in advertising revenue to address the problem, but instead, they’ve done nothing:

They allowed incitement to violence against protesters fighting for racial justice in America in the wake of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery,  Rayshard Brooks and so many others.

They named Breitbart News a “trusted news source” and made The Daily Caller a “fact-checker” despite both publications having records of working with known white nationalists.

They turned a blind eye to blatant voter suppression on their platform.

Could they protect and support Black users? Could they call out Holocaust denial as hate? Could they help get out the vote? They absolutely could. But they are actively choosing not to do so.

As an organization, we’re dedicated to exposing those who attempt to spread hate and division at the expense of working families in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. We know that white supremacists with ties to the anti-worker movement have long used Facebook as a tool to circumvent the fact-checking and diligence of traditional media to propagate their hateful messages. While they’ve half-heartedly attempted to ban extremists like neo-nazi Richard Spencer — who shares funders with the anti-worker Washington Policy Center and “Freedom” Foundation — these strategies have proven ineffective.

Hate groups have used Facebook to organize violence against protestors in the wake of last month’s protests against racial violence. Earlier this year, dark money, right-wing groups used Facebook to create the illusion of a grassroots movement to reopen the country. The anti-worker “Freedom” Foundation, whose incompetent staff have regularly used social media to spread misinformation about the pandemic, launched a paid Facebook ad on July 1 soliciting donations to fund their anti-science lawsuits against state government mandates requiring people to wear masks in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19. The inept front group has been using Facebook as a platform to pander to fringe right-wing zealots, raising money off an anti-science agenda that could put us all at risk. Failing organizations like the “Freedom” Foundation use Facebook and other platforms to create the illusion they have more support for their hateful cause than they actually do.

We can no longer tolerate Facebook’s inaction against hate and deception. Facebook has the resources and power to enact positive, lasting change. That’s why, this month, we’re hitting pause on our Facebook ads to send the message that the time for real action against hate is now.

Read more about #StopHateforProfit’s recommendations for Facebook to address hate on their platforms here.

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