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Monday, 6 July 2020

Companies Boycotting Facebook Over Alleged ‘Hate Speech’ Still Advertise On Russian Social Media That Bans Gay-Rights Groups

Companies that have publicly announced they would stop advertising on Facebook unless the social media platform restricts President Donald Trump continue to advertise on a Russian platform favored by white supremacists.
The Washington Free Beacon’s Alana Goodman reported that some of the very companies publicly boycotting Facebook in “a public pressure campaign led by Joe Biden and other top Democrats” to restrict their opponent Trump’s postings are still advertising on VK, a Russian media website that has become a haven for “white supremacists and neo-Nazis who have been banned from Facebook.” Further, VK bans gay-rights groups from posting on its platform.
“Over 100 companies announced a boycott of Facebook last week in protest of divisive political speech on the website. The boycott coincides with a public pressure campaign led by Joe Biden and other top Democrats to press Facebook to enforce stricter control over President Trump’s postings,” Goodman reported. “But many of these companies—including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Adidas, and Reebok—have been regular advertisers on VK, a popular Russian media website used by many white supremacists and neo-Nazis who have been banned from Facebook. Several of these companies continue to have a marketing presence on the Russian website, raising questions about their recent concern about ‘hate speech’ on social media sites.”
For example, Reebok and Adidas released a joint statement last week criticizing Facebook for allowing alleged “hate speech” on its website.
“Racist, discriminatory, and hateful online content have no place in our brand or in society,” the companies said in the statement. “As we focus on better practices within our company and communities to ensure lasting change in the fight against racism, Adidas and Reebok will also pause advertising on Facebook and Instagram globally throughout July.”
More from Goodman:
Many of the companies that joined the Facebook boycott continue to market their products and brands in posts on their VK pages, including Starbucks, Ford, Unilever, Colgate, Vans, The North Face, and Patagonia. On July 2, two days after joining the Facebook ad boycott, Colgate ran a promotion on VK offering prizes to members who purchased its products and used the VK app to scan the product code.
Coca-Cola has run advertising campaigns on VK, including a controversial 2016 ad in which the company included the disputed territories of Crimea and the Kuril Islands on a map of Russia. Pepsi has also been an advertiser on the site and reportedly collaborated with VK on a payment app in 2018. Both still have an active presence on the platform.
Goodman reached out to the above companies regarding their continued advertising on VK, but none responded. Starbucks provided a statement saying it was halting advertising on “all social media platforms.”
The National Socialist Movement and the Ku Klux Klan each have a presence on VK.

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