Patagonia boss says his firm will not advertise with Facebook until it ‘develops a conscience’ and changes its flawed business model which allows ‘hate speech’ to thrive

Patagonia's boss has revealed the company could stop advertising with Facebook 'indefinitely' if the platform fails to tackle a 'rampant' problem with hate speech, antisemitism and climate denialism.
Ryan Gellert, the outdoor clothing brand's general manager in Europe, today said the tech giant's business model was 'flawed' and had been profiting from hate speech and disinformation.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme: 'They have ultimately got to develop a conscience and they have got to understand that their business model really needs to evolve.' 
The company joined several US firms to halt advertising spending on Facebook last week over concerns the leading social network has fallen short in efforts to crack down on hateful posts. 
Meanwhile, Facebook's European vice president defended the platform's attempts to stop the sharing of 'hate speech'.
Ryan Gellert (pictured at a panel discussion in May last year), Patagonia's general manager in Europe, today said the tech giant's business model was 'flawed' and had been profiting from hate speech and disinformation
Ryan Gellert (pictured at a panel discussion in May last year), Patagonia's general manager in Europe, today said the tech giant's business model was 'flawed' and had been profiting from hate speech and disinformation
The company joined several US firms to halt advertising spending on Facebook (pictured, CEO Mark Zuckerberg in February) last week over concerns the leading social network has fallen short in efforts to crack down on hateful posts
The company joined several US firms to halt advertising spending on Facebook (pictured, CEO Mark Zuckerberg in February) last week over concerns the leading social network has fallen short in efforts to crack down on hateful posts
In a car crash BBC interview, Steve Hatch said there was 'no tolerance on our platform for hate speech' but claimed debates around such issues were, 'extremely challenging'. 
Mr Gellert said the platform's 'accuracy on political and voting matters' had to be ensured if Patagonia was to consider reinstating its advertising on Facebook.

'They are not going to stop until they see this impact revenue. I think now more than ever they are endangering human health and weakening our democratic system,' he said of the social media platform.
In a step further than other firms, who agreed to halt spending until the end of July, Mr Gellert revealed that without fundamental change, Patagonia would be suspending its advertising with Facebook 'indefinitely'.
'In the absence of really meaningful change I don't see us returning at the end of July and that could go on indefinitely.'
He said 'incremental change' would not be enough, and suggested Facebook commit to a 'regular third party independent audit'. 
For now Patagonia will 'diversify' its spending on advertising. 
Radio 4’s Today host Nick Robinson accused Mr Hatch of allowing 'hate speech' on Mark Zuckerberg's social media behemoth and profiting from such content. 
Robinson pointed to a post by US conservative activist Candace Owens calling George Floyd a 'horrible human being', that was the top comment on Facebook at the time of race riots. 
Robinson claimed the fact that the post was the network's top comment - and not an isolated message that an algorithm missed - suggests that Facebook 'profits off an algorithm that mainlines hate and encourages sharing, making the company 'billions of dollars as a result.'
In an attempt to refute the accusation Mr Hatch hit back, 'When there's hate in the world there will also be hate on Facebook.'  
Earlier this month Patagonia said on Twitter it was joining the Stop the Hate for Profit initiative unveiled by civil rights activists, who urged brands to boycott the social media giant claiming it 'promotes hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence'.
'Patagonia is proud to join the Stop Hate for Profit campaign,' the California-based outdoor apparel brand announced Sunday, June 21.
'We will pull all ads on Facebook and Instagram, effective immediately, through at least the end of July, pending meaningful action from the social media giant.'  
'For too long, Facebook has failed to take sufficient steps to stop the spread of hateful lies and dangerous propaganda on its platform,' a statement from the company reads in part. 
'From secure elections to a global pandemic to racial justice, the stakes are too high to sit back and let the company continue to be complicit in spreading disinformation and fomenting fear and hatred.'
Patagonia has a history of not shying away from political discourse. The company sued President Donald Trump in 2017 after he rolled back protections on national monuments.  
Earlier this month Patagonia said on Twitter it was joining the Stop the Hate for Profit initiative unveiled by civil rights activists
Earlier this month Patagonia said on Twitter it was joining the Stop the Hate for Profit initiative unveiled by civil rights activists
The #StopHateForProfit appeal was supported by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, ColorOfChange, FreePress and the activist group Sleeping Giants. 
Starbucks has become the latest household name to suspend its adverts, following the likes of Unilever and Coca-Cola, amid concerns that the tech giant is failing to address the issue. 
Ford, Adidas and HP have also joined the mass boycott.  
North Face, also based in California, was the first to join the campaign, tweeting in response to a boycott call: 'We're in. We're Out,' adding later: 'This includes all Facebook owned properties.'

The company subsequently shared a statement with CNN, which read: 'The North Face is halting all activity and U.S. paid advertising with Facebook until stricter policies are put in place to stop racist, violent or hateful content and misinformation from circulating on the platform'. 
The company's commitment to pull their advertising also extends to Instagram - which is owned by Facebook.
CNN reports that the North Face's parent company, VF Corp, has not yet stated whether other brands in its portfolio will also boycott the social media giant.
VF Corp also owns shoe companies Vans and Timberland, and reportedly spent $756 million on advertising in the last year. 
Social media users listening in claimed Mr Hatch was unable to refute the claims that Facebook encouraged 'hate speech'
Social media users listening in claimed Mr Hatch was unable to refute the claims that Facebook encouraged 'hate speech'  
A set of tweets published earlier this month said the decision had been made because 'the stakes were too high to sit back and let the company continue to be complicit in spreading disinformation and fomenting fear and hatred'
A set of tweets published earlier this month said the decision had been made because 'the stakes were too high to sit back and let the company continue to be complicit in spreading disinformation and fomenting fear and hatred'
Upwork said it was 'hitting pause on hate with no Facebook advertising in July.'
REI also joined over the weekend stating: 'For 82 years, we have put people over profits. We're pulling all Facebook/Instagram advertising for the month of July.'
Mr Hatch told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'There is no profit to be had in content that is hateful.'
But he admitted: 'The debates that we see around these topics are extremely challenging and can be very, very wide-ranging.'
Mr Hatch said the company had invested millions to try to tackle the problem. 
He added: 'Our systems now detect and remove 90% of hate speech automatically and that’s not perfect but we do know that it’s up from 23% two years ago. 
'But we know that systems aren’t the only answer it’s about it’s a question of combining the forces that Facebook have with the community on Facebook itself.' 
Steve Hatch said there was 'no tolerance on our platform for hate speech' but claimed debates around such issues were, 'extremely challenging'
Steve Hatch said there was 'no tolerance on our platform for hate speech' but claimed debates around such issues were, 'extremely challenging'
He said most people 'have a positive experience' on the social network but admitted there is a 'small minority of those that are hateful' because, 'when there's hate in the world there will also be hate on Facebook'.
Robinson said Facebook 'chose not to change the algorithm that encourages the sharing of hate speech and mainlines hate.'
Mr Hatch hit back: 'That's not the case. I think it's awful of course to see the events that have unfolded in the US and that are growing around the world.
'But the way that our systems work are to provide people with the content that's most often, in millions and millions of cases, both enjoyable and safe and to enable people to have a discussion. 
'When we look at the US it's a very polarised atmosphere right now and there are many many issues, some of them very troubling and very concerning, where people do want to discuss and they do turn to online platforms to do that. 
'Debates do happen and these can often be challenging areas where people are discussing them either in a feed or are on groups.'
Mr Hatch denied such discussions were causing 'real world harm'. 
When asked if the race riots in America amounted to 'real world harm', he replied: 'The debates we see around all of these topics were extremely challenging and can be very very wide ranging.'   
Robinson pointed to a post by pro-Trump activist Candace Owens calling George Floyd a 'horrible human being', that was the top comment on Facebook at the time of race riots
Robinson pointed to a post by pro-Trump activist Candace Owens calling George Floyd a 'horrible human being', that was the top comment on Facebook at the time of race riots
This comes as Facebook launched an advertising campaign to improve people's awareness of fake news shared online, encouraging users to question what they see.
The initiative - devised in consultation with fact-checking partner Full Fact - asks the public to check whether a post is from a trusted source, ensure they read beyond headlines, and be alert to manipulated images, as well as reflecting on how it makes them feel.
'People who make false news try to manipulate your feelings,' warns one of the messages.
'If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.' 
Facebook vice president Carolyn Everson said in a statement: 'We deeply respect any brand's decision, and remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information. 
'Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organizations are about how, together, we can be a force for good,' she continued.
The social network said it removed ads by Trump's re-election campaign that contained a symbol used in Nazi Germany for political prisoners, a move welcomed by rights activists.
Coke and Unilever join Facebook ad boycott
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The North Face has become the first major brand to pull advertising from Facebook after civil rights groups urged companies to boycott the social media giant amid claims it 'promotes hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence'
The campaign comes as the social media giant faces growing pressure over its hands-off approach to misinformation and inflammatory posts, including from US President Donald Trump.
'It is clear that Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, are no longer simply negligent, but in fact, complacent in the spread of misinformation, despite the irreversible damage to our democracy,' the NAACP said in a tweet.
The coalition criticized Zuckerberg's decision late last month to leave up a particularly inflammatory post by the Commander-in-chief, which stated in part: 'When the looting starts, the shooting starts'. 
Twitter hid the same message behind a warning that said the post 'incited violence'.
Several Facebook employees staged a 'virtual walkout' over Zuckerberg's decision.
The Facebook co-founder then held a conference call with civil rights leaders who condemned him for failing to remove the post.
In a subsequent statement, Rashad Robinson of Color of Change, Vanita Gupta of the Leadership Conference and Sherrilyn Ifill of LDF said: 'He [Zuckerberg] did not demonstrate understanding of historic or modern-day voter suppression and he refuses to acknowledge how Facebook is facilitating Trump's call for violence against protesters. 
North Face, also based in California, was the first to join the campaign, tweeting in response to a boycott call: 'We're in. We're Out,' adding later: 'This includes all Facebook owned properties'
North Face, also based in California, was the first to join the campaign, tweeting in response to a boycott call: 'We're in. We're Out,' adding later: 'This includes all Facebook owned properties'
'Mark is setting a very dangerous precedent for other voices who would say similar harmful things on Facebook.'
Color of Change subsequently joined forces with a number of other civil rights group to launch the '#StopHateforProfit' campaign last week, encouraging companies to pull ads from Facebook.
Other organizations in the campaign include the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Free Press and Common Sense.
The campaign took out a full page ad in the Los Angeles Times pushing for companies to boycott Facebook. The social media giant reportedly made close to $70 billion in ad revenues last year.
'What would you do with $70billion?' the #StopHateForProfit ad asks.
'We know what Facebook did. 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'.
The ad goes on to accuse Facebook of 'turning a blind eye to voter suppression' and 'amplifying white supremacists'.  
The groups took out a full page ad (pictured) in the Los Angeles Times that's titled: 'What would you do with $70billion?'
The groups took out a full page ad (pictured) in the Los Angeles Times that's titled: 'What would you do with $70billion?'
Other prominent voices have also hit out at Facebook over the last couple of weeks.
Among them, was Nancy Pelosi, who said companies could use their 'tremendous leverage' to 'discourage platforms from amplifying dangerous and even life-threatening disinformation'.
MSNBC star Joe Scarborough launched a withering attack of Facebook, accusing the company of 'promoting extremism'.
'I've seen a lot of insincere statements put out. Gonna say Mark Zuckerberg talking about how deeply saddened he was by the things he's seen the president say is near that top of it considering that he makes billions of dollars off of spreading lies and letting people spread lies, hateful lies,' he said.
Scarborough talked about the murder of federal officer Damon Gutzwiller, 38, who died in an ambush allegedly started by Air Force sergeant, Steve Carillo, 32, this month.
Authorities said Carillo scribbled far-right extremist phrases in blood after he killed a Gutzwiller and wounded two others. 
Carillo is said to be a part of 'boogaloo', a movement of far-right anti-government extremists.
Facebook has been scrubbing 'boogaloo' and 'Proud Boys' Facebook pages. The company considers both to be hate groups.
Facebook's Zuckerberg announces fight against racism and voter suppression
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Facebook (file image) officials said they had started to initiate a ban against the two groups on May 30 after seeing web traffic which indicated they were planning to disrupt protests sparked by Floyd's death
Facebook (file image) officials said they had started to initiate a ban against the two groups on May 30 after seeing web traffic which indicated they were planning to disrupt protests sparked by Floyd's death
Joe Scarborough accused Facebook of actively 'promoting extremism' in a fiery monologue as civil rights groups urged big advertisers to pull spending from the social media giant for its failure to make its platform less hostile
Joe Scarborough accused Facebook of actively 'promoting extremism' in a fiery monologue as civil rights groups urged big advertisers to pull spending from the social media giant for its failure to make its platform less hostile
Following Scarborough's monologue, Facebook announced it had removed another 900 social media accounts linked to the Proud Boys and the far-right American Guard after members discussed plans to bring weapons to protests decrying police brutality against black people.
The company announced Tuesday that it recently took down 470 accounts belonging to people affiliated with the Proud Boys and another 430 linked to members of the American Guard.
'In both cases, we saw accounts from both organizations discussing attending protests in various US states with plans to carry weapons but we did not find indications in their on-platform content they planned to actively commit violence,' the company said.
Nearly 200 other accounts linked to the groups were removed late last month.
Facebook officials said they had been monitoring the groups' social media presence and were led to act when they say posts attempting to exploit current George Floyd protests unfolding across the country.
Meanwhile, the company reacted to news of The North Face's advertising boycott, stating: 'We deeply respect any brand's decision and remain focused on the important work of removing hate speech and providing critical voting information. 
'Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organizations are about how, together, we can be a force for good.'
Patagonia boss says his firm will not advertise with Facebook until it ‘develops a conscience’ and changes its flawed business model which allows ‘hate speech’ to thrive Patagonia boss says his firm will not advertise with Facebook until it ‘develops a conscience’ and changes its flawed business model which allows ‘hate speech’ to thrive Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 07:11 Rating: 5

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