- Albertsons and Southeastern Grocers are among the growing number of companies that have announced they will stop advertising on social media, temporarily or indefinitely, in an effort to combat hate speech, according to statements the supermarket chains provided to Grocery Dive. Target is also temporarily stopping ads on social media, CNN reported.
- Albertsons, which operates stores under banners including Acme, Safeway and Vons, said in a statement posted to its website that it would suspend advertising on social media in July “and work with the platforms to identify, develop, and implement necessary changes,” without providing details.
- Southeastern Grocers, which runs stores under brands such as Winn-Dixie and Fresco y Más, was more specific, saying in an email that it was indefinitely halting advertising on Facebook and Instagram as of July 1 as part of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which counts array of companies including Coca-Cola, Best Buy and Unilever among its participants.
The actions taken by Albertsons and Southeastern Grocers contribute to the growing pressure advertisers are exerting on social media platforms, particularly those owned by Facebook, in an effort to stop the dissemination of hate speech.
The companies are taking action as advertisers band together through the Stop Hate for Profit movement, which specifically calls for businesses to pause their advertisements on Facebook and the company’s Instagram platform during July. The campaign, a joint effort by civil rights groups including the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP, “is a response to Facebook’s long history of allowing racist, violent and verifiably false content to run rampant on its platform,” according to a June 17 statement from the group.
Companies are also pulling advertisements from Twitter, which is not named by the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, Newsweek reported.
“We all have a choice in how we respond and move forward to provide a better future for all those who have for far too long been oppressed. As a company, we believe taking a stand and fostering a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity extends far beyond our own four walls,” Southeastern Grocers said in its statement.
The grocer added it had decided to stop advertising on Facebook and Instagram “in hopes that they continue to champion progressive change and better enforce their stated policies.”
Albertsons issued a similar statement, although the company did not mention the Stop Hate for Profit campaign or Facebook by name.
“As a company, we have committed to holding courageous conversations that reflect our genuine desire to boldly face inequity and injustice head on,” the grocer said, adding, “It is incumbent on social media platforms to take more responsibility for the climate they foster. That includes taking bold steps to combat hate speech and misinformation, and having better support for targeted users.”
On June 26, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social media company is adjusting its policies in part because of feedback it has received from civil rights advocates, and would not allow advertisements that promote division based on race. “I'm committed to making sure Facebook remains a place where people can use their voice to discuss important issues, because I believe we can make more progress when we hear each other. But I also stand against hate, or anything that incites violence or suppresses voting, and we're committed to removing that no matter where it comes from,” Zuckerberg wrote.