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Re: Join #StopHateForProfit and cease advertising on Facebook

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.

24 Replies

Thank you so much for your support of Stop Hate For Profit. I, too, am boycotting Facebook and Instagram.  Your voice and dollars mean so much more to the cause. I am hoping to see changes so that we can once again enjoy social media. I will be using my dollars to support REI in the future for sure.

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I know right, just the flood of blatantly racist posts of facebook is becoming a problem. Why just yesterday I saw someone say "I disagree with a Marxist organization disguising itself as an organization for black people" The nerve. That is basically equivalent to the **bleep** burning down minority owned businesses and ransacking an REI in Santa Monica.

It's now been 10 days since my post asking REI to join #StopHateForProfit.

REI stepped up immediately and announced on Juneteenth that it was suspending its ad buys on Facebook and Instagram.

When REI made its announcement that it was putting people ahead of profits, it and The North Face were among the first companies to join #StopHateForProfit.

In the 10 days since then, a partial list of the companies that have joined #StopHateForProfit and/or simply ceased advertising on Facebook includes:

  • Adidas
  • Arc'teryx
  • Ben & Jerry's
  • Coca-Cola
  • Denny's
  • Eddie Bauer
  • Ford
  • Hershey's
  • HP
  • Levi's
  • Lululemon
  • Mountain Equipment Coop (props to our Canadian friends!) 
  • Microsoft
  • Patagonia
  • Starbucks
  • Unilever
  • Verizon

That list is growing by the hour.

Props to REI for doing the right thing at the right time. Your leadership is playing an important part in building this movement to end hate speech on social media. I'm proud to be a member of the co-op and each of you who played a role in REI joining #StopHateForProfit can feel proud of the impact REI's statement is having.

Keep up the good work!

 

To see that my beloved REI company I've been a member of for about 48 years is one of the companies leading the way to join forces with those who think that bullying into submission instead of respectful dialogue is a good thing for America does not make me proud to be a member.

Given that the majority of responses I've seen to this post were negative or about disappointment in REI, I just wanted to share my gratitude to you @AJH for calling out REI and asking for their support in this measure. I, for one, would prefer not to see ad's on facebook at all. But while we are subjected to ad content while we use the platform I think it is necessary to hold facebook at least partially responsible for the content that they profit from. Thank you @REI co-op for taking a more vocal position and in supporting BLM! Please don't stop here, we need more diversity in the outdoors!

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As a long-time REI member I was very disappointed by recent REI decision to boycott Facebook and join in the destructive cancel culture movement.

 

As a nature-loving conservative, I cannot see how stifling debate, silencing voices of so-called "hate groups" will advance an open and fearless dialog. Free speech is the bedrock of this nation and hate speech proponents seem to censor most often speech they do not like vs speech that as they say seems to advance hateful acts. Most often conservative voices are the ones being censored, rarely ever any other voices.

If REI leadership think that they will escpate the cancel mob, they are so wrong. They will come for you again if you disagree with their group think in the future. A sad day for REI. A sad day for REI members you love the freedom of the outdoors as well as the freedom of minds and speech.

I will be not buying from REI for the foreseeable future as I feel this latest action by REI and other outdoor companies is misguided. And I will encourage everyone to allow free speech to advance an open dialog.

I support REI in withdrawing financial support for Facebook.

Do YOU give money to a cause?

What does that mean?

Does it mean you support that cause?

Of course it does.

 

Facebook is censoring right now – it says that it is. It is skewing favorably toward views supporting large business. It proclaims this; look it up:

The social media giant’s “fact checkers” decided this was not a valid opinion.’

(https://nypost.com/2020/04/17/facebook-fact-checkers-foul-again-after-censoring-post-story/)

 

And “Fact checking Facebook’s fact checkers

(https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=facebook+on+faceboon+censoring&atb=v225-4&ia=web)

Most curious among those who condemn REI are those saying "stay out of politics."
Supporting Facebook financially is supporting Facebook’s politics - how can anyone not understand this? Does anyone doubt that Facebook is a political entity? See the above researched data.

Staying out of politics is a political statement. This has been understood since ancient times:  

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." 

 ~ Plato 

What this means is, to not decide is to decide, as that leaves the decision to others. However, the internal contradiction is that there is no action that is not inherently political. So the question is “What action is least political?

That leaves that not supporting Facebook financially as the politically neutral thing to do.

Some of you will now say:

"But REI is not supporting Facebook; REI is getting something in return: advertising.” So this means, the argument will go, “It is a transaction, not an endorsement.”

 

Does this have any meaning whatsoever?

No it does not, because seen that way, everything is a transaction.

 

Donating to a cause gives you something in return as well? Yes?

A sense of satisfaction is not the sole return for a donation.

It is also the hope that the entity receiving a donation will prevail.

 

Have we become so twisted that the notions of positive and negative and balance are now "My opinion is as valuable as your facts."

As Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously stated:
“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

 ~ Daniel Patrick Moynihan 

 

Moynihan means that concrete observable fact is not on an even ‘balance’ with opinion.

 

Fact definition: something that actually exists; reality; truth.

Opinion is something of your own mind -

Opinion definition:

“ … belief not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof … “

 

The Bottom Line:
Financially Supporting an entity continues that entity – withdrawing financial support is removing the endorsement contained in the support. It is remaining as neutral as is humanly possible.

Recreational Equipment, Incorporated, is an entity that has influence. It has chosen to remain neutral as Facebook works to find Facebook’s way home.

To support bias is biased by definition. Withdrawing support for bias is an unbiased action. 

 

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