In the wake of the revelations in the Facebook Papers, Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert on Thursday called for companies to join the brand in pressuring Facebook to fix its platforms.
“We believe Facebook has a responsibility to make sure its products do no harm, and until they do, Patagonia will continue to withhold our advertising,” Gellert said in a statement to CNN. “We encourage other businesses to join us in pushing Facebook to prioritize people and planet over profit.”
In the summer of 2020, Patagonia joined a growing list of companies pulling ads from Facebook platforms as part of an advertiser boycott.
“Patagonia stopped all paid advertising on Facebook platforms in June 2020 because they spread hate speech and misinformation about climate change and our democracy. We continue to stand by that boycott 16 months later,” Gellert said.
The comments come after a consortium of 17 US news organizations began publishing articles based on the Facebook Papers, a trove of hundreds of internal documents that were included in disclosures made to the Securities and Exchange Commission and provided to Congress in redacted form by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s legal counsel. The consortium, which includes CNN, reviewed the redacted versions received by Congress.
CNN’s coverage includes stories about how coordinated groups on Facebook sow discord and violence, including on January 6, as well as Facebook’s challenges moderating content in some non-English-speaking countries, and how human traffickers have used its platforms to exploit people.
The Patagonia CEO expressed concern about the revelations.
“The internal Facebook documents released over the last few weeks have made it incredibly clear that they know the irreparable damage that their lack of accountability causes their three billion users and the corrosive effects that has on society itself,” Gellert said. “Facebook’s executives know what steps it can take to mitigate such harm — yet they have repeatedly failed to reform.”
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