Starbucks became the latest company to hit the pause button on social media advertising on Sunday, joining an evergrowing list of major brands that pulled their ads from social networks, and Facebook in particular, in an attempt to push for stronger action against hate speech on the part of social media companies.
“We will pause advertising on all social media platforms while we continue discussions internally, with our media partners and with civil rights organizations in the effort to stop the spread of hate speech,” Starbucks wrote in its official announcement of its decision, which puts the coffee chain alongside companies such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, Verizon, Patagonia and Levi’s, to name just a few. As opposed to the other companies mentioned above, Starbucks hasn’t officially joined the “Stop Hate for Profit” initiative, which singles out Facebook for its inaction against hate speech especially during the recent protests for racial justice in America.
While several companies have paused social media advertising altogether, Facebook is currently taking the brunt of the boycott, as it is seen as the epitome of what is wrong with social media these days. As our chart shows, the company’s ad revenue amounted to nearly $70 billion last year, dwarfing the ad sales of its social media competitors.