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.
@AJH and @Eupatorium thanks so much for your posts! One of the reasons we're most excited for this online community is the ability to hear directly from our members and customers with their ideas, suggestions, concerns, and more.
Just yesterday, we made this announcement on Twitter: For 82 years, we have put people over profits. We're pulling all Facebook/Instagram advertising for the month of July. #StopHateForProfit. Learn more at stophateforprofit.org.
Thanks for the update. Props to REI for doing the right thing on the right day.
While I'm not surprised, I am glad to see that the reaction to your announcement is overwhelmingly positive. Within the first half day after REI's tweet, it's already racked up 800+ retweets and 3k+ likes. I'm betting that the bulk of peeps who follow your Twitter account are fellow members and the huge and growing number of positive replies is evidence that REI is doing the right thing for both our society and our co-op.
July is just a start. Keep up the good work!
I would not describe the replies by members on this forum as overwhelmingly supportive of the ad boycott. And they shouldn't be. "Hate speech" is a vague category that mostly seems to mean speech that the left doesn't like. For example, the Southern Poverty Law Center has defined traditional Christian groups as "hate" groups because they oppose abortion or same-sex marriage. Twitter, I believe, considers it hate speech to use the wrong pronoun about someone who has announced that they are going to transition to a different gender. Are these the speakers that REI wants to censor, so badly that it's willing to stop advertising with companies that won't censor traditional conservative voices?
How does one officially cancel their membership in REI? I have loved being an REI member for many years. I have loved the gear REI has provided me to allow me to enjoy our beautiful world. But if REI is going to push for censorship on public forums, I can no longer support them. I agree with putting an end to racism, hate, and violence, but that is not the true agenda here. This is purely political. It is a speech by President Trump that Facebook did not censor that has people up in arms. I am not a fan of this president, but he has a right to speak, and as an American, I have an interest in hearing anything my president says, whether I agree with it or not. In this case, the president was speaking against violent riots, which supporters of seem to be allowed to say whatever they want without censorship. Smashing windows, burning down buildings (Wendy’s), violent shootings (CHOP shootings), and a witch hunt we haven’t seen the likes of since the Red Scare (Jimmy Fallon impersonating Chris Rock) are examples of the very racism, hate, and violence that these organizations claim to be trying to stop, but are actually supporting. There are things that need to be fixed in the United States right now, but I can no longer support any company helping to promote this insane domestic terrorism going on now.