The Real Reason Ben & Jerry's Is Boycotting Facebook Ads

Ben & Jerry's is an ice cream company known for wearing its heart on its sleeve, and frequently on its cartons. Not only does Ben & Jerry's use sustainable ingredients and offer employees a living wage, but they have also released such politically-inspired flavors as Pecan Resist, EmpowerMINT, and the marriage-equality inspired I Dough, I Dough (via Forbes), as well as the limited-release Bernie's Back supporting former presidential candidate Sanders (a fellow Vermonter).

The ice cream brand's latest statement, however, comes in something it will not be doing. According to an announcement released on Tuesday via rival social media platform Twitter, Ben & Jerry's plans to "pause all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the US in support of the #StopHateForProfit campaign." They went on to issue the demand that Facebook "take the clear and unequivocal actions to stop its platform from being used to spread and amplify racism and hate."

What Ben & Jerry's wants from Facebook

As Ben & Jerry's explain on their website, they're taking a stand alongside other organizations such as the NAACP, Color of Change, and the Anti-Defamation League in "calling for Facebook to take stronger action to stop its platforms from being used to divide our nation, suppress voters, foment and fan the flames of racism and violence, and undermine our democracy." As of July 1, they're suspending all Facebook advertising in solidarity with #StopHateForProfit. In this they are not alone, as the Stop Hate for Profit website press section reveals that companies including Upwork, The North Face, REI, Patagonia, and Eddie Bauer will also be "unfriending" Facebook.

As to what "clear and unequivocal" actions the campaign wishes Facebook to take, their recommendations are threefold. Under the category of "Provide more support to people who are targets of racism, antisemitism and hate" are included such actions as putting targets of harassment in touch with a live person willing to address their concerns. "Stop generating ad revenue from misinformation and harmful content" involves removing all advertising from pages showing hate speech and misinformation, while "Increase Safety in Private Groups on Facebook" would require Facebook adding its own moderators to larger private groups and monitoring all content associated with extremist ideologies.