Lawrence, KS, July 1, 2020– eXplore Lawrence has joined hundreds of businesses who have suspended paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram at least through July. The Stop Hate for Profit coalition, which includes Color Of Change, NAACP, ADL, Sleeping Giants, Free Press, and Common Sense Media, has called on advertisers to pause ad spending on Facebook and Instagram for the month. The coalition, and companies that support it, are asking Facebook to address issues of racism across their platforms.
We joined Stop Hate for Profit because when it comes to dealing with rampant hate on Facebook’s services, Facebook continues to come up short. Their policies on hate speech, incitement to violence, and misinformation are weak. Their harassment victim services are nonexistent. Their advertising placement’s proximity to hateful content is haphazard. And their “civil rights” audit transparency reports aren’t helpful to the civil rights community.
The Stop Hate for Profit Coalition is recommending long overdue, reasonable changes to Facebook to make it safer and less hate-filled. The asks are simple: we want Facebook to address the large groups (many with over 100,000 members) that are full of hate and violent conspiracies. We want Facebook to prohibit blatant lies in political ads. We want victims of severe harassment to be able to contact a live Facebook employee for help.
These changes will not only be good for society, but they will also be good for businesses (like ours) that have advertised on Facebook. The platform haphazardly puts ads next to offensive, racist and bigoted content, so their profits are literally amplifying hate. Facebook has long ignored pleas from many sectors to address the problems on their platform. Finally, with businesses, consumers and nonprofits working together, we are hopeful that Facebook will actually take the simple steps Stop Hate for Profit recommends to deal with hate, racism and misinformation once and for all.
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eXplore Lawrence represents the travel & tourism for Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas. We are dedicated to creating economic development by attracting visitors, conventions and events to our city.