Longtime member here. 40 years ago this June I joined REI when I was visiting the old flagship store in Seattle.
Props to REI for announcing that "We stand for racial equity." While it's a no brainer, it was and is important for REI to add its voice in support of social justice.
Even so, talk is cheap. It's now time for REI to take meaningful action to show that its words mean something.
Using the campaign hashtag #StopHateForProfit, the NAACP, the ADL and other civil rights organizations are calling for corporations to stop running Facebook ads in July. The sad fact is that Facebook, which has had a long history of allowing racist, violent and verifiably false content to run rampant, has repeatedly failed to meaningfully address the vast proliferation of hate on its platforms. As the NAACP has announced, "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."
Just today The North Face announced that it's in and that it will halt advertising on Facebook. As the North Face declared, "We know that for too long harmful, racist rhetoric and misinformation has made the world unequal and unsafe, and we stand with the NAACP and the other organizations who are working to #StopHateforProfit."
It's not just The North Face either. 360i, the leading digital ad agency whose clients include Unilverer, recommends that corporate clients join #StopHateForProfit. As 360i writes, "any social platform that earns profits by amplifying the voices of their community must have a zero tolerance policy for hate."
REI needs to get out in front of this growing march for action, not just because it's the right thing to do but also to protect its own brand. Frankly if REI fails to sign up for #StopHateForProfit, despite my warm feelings towards REI, I'll start to wonder whether I want to continue to be a member of a co-op that continues to funnel cash towards a hate-filled platform like Facebook.
I look forward to REI's statement joining #StopHateForProfit promptly. As I write, it's Juneteenth. REI should take a stand today.
Since you bring up the subject of domestic terrorism perhaps one ought to consider the domestic terrorism that police departments around the country have been disproportionately inflicting on people of color for decades. Protestors that are peaceful are not domestic terrorists.
This is freedom of speech being erased! My family and I love REI; however, the word is getting around REI is supporting censorship resulting in many people boycotting REI. This is a sad day. I wish Rei would stand up for the people and the right to say what they want- it is literally a constitutional right! Rei did not have to do anything except continue to bring a great product and fantastic customer service, now they have alienated at least Half of their customers! Time for REI to stop playing politics and opt outdoors! Get it together REI - Don’t take a knee here Stand up for the rights of all citizens!
I am a member for over 20 years and I feel betrayed today. REI is joining the wave of forces to censor people we disagree with. I feel REI, like anyone else, should debate not boycott. For the first time after more than 20 years I am ashamed to be part of the REI co-op.
I grew up in Seattle patronizing the flagship store, and now live in Alaska spending much my time in the most beautiful outdoors on earth. Now that I make more money than I did in college, I have made a conscious effort to support REI (and other brick and mortar retailers who have invested in my community) with my dollars rather than comparison shopping online to save a few bucks. Unfortunately it now seems if I don't have the 'correct' politics, REI does not believe I should be entitled to civil rights online. I'd rather not pay extra to have that money funding a politically biased censorship campaign (or any political activity for that matter).
Please leave the politics behind and just go back to delivering excellent products and great customer service to everyone. The great outdoors belong to everyone equally regardless of race, creed, or political party and I sincerely hope REI will be there to help them all enjoy it equally. #StopVirtueSignalingForProfit
REI is not imposing censorship on anyone or on Facebook. It is simply declaring that Facebook needs to reign in misinformation activity on its site that REI does not agree with or REI will withdraw advertising dollars from Facebook. That is clearly not censorship but it is the right of REI to spend its advertising dollars in the manor it chooses. Simply because one decides to restrict spending dollars with another business because one does not agree with the manor is which that business is managed does not constitute censorship. It constitutes disapproval of how the business is being conducted. REI has no power over Facebook to censor anything on Facebook.
Rei will continue to deliver excellent products and great customer service to all its members and customers.