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June 22, 2020, 5:07 p.m. EDT

Patagonia joins North Face, REI in Facebook ad boycott

Civil rights groups have called for ad boycott in July over Facebook’s inability to rein in racist content, misinformation

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By Associated Press

The groups say Facebook doesn’t stop “bad actors using the platform to do harm.”

The outdoor gear company Patagonia is the latest company to announce an advertising boycott of Facebook and its Instagram app for the month of July — or longer — saying the social media giant has “failed to take steps to stop the spread of hateful lies and dangerous propaganda on its platform.”

Patagonia joins The North Face (a unit of VF Corp. /zigman2/quotes/206706147/composite VFC +0.87%  ) and the outdoor gear company REI, which have announced similar boycotts in recent days. It is not clear how much the boycotts will affect Facebook’s advertising revenue, which was nearly $70 billion in 2019, making up nearly all of its total revenue for the year.

According to Facebook’s ad library, Patagonia spent nearly $1 million on ads about social issues or politics between May 2018 and June 2020. The ads got the “social issues” moniker because they were about environmental issues.

A representative for Facebook /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB +2.03%   did not immediately respond to a message for comment on Monday.

Last week, civil rights groups called on large advertisers to stop Facebook ad campaigns during July, saying the social network isn’t doing enough to curtail racist and violent content on its platform.

The groups in the “#StopHateforProfit” campaign, launched Wednesday, include Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color Of Change, Free Press and Common Sense.

The groups say Facebook amplifies white supremacists, allows posts that incite violence and contain political propaganda and misinformation, and doesn’t stop “bad actors using the platform to do harm.”

The big tech companies have struggled over how to manage the floods of posts and videos that users put on their platforms every day. Facebook has been under fire for deciding to leave up posts by President Donald Trump that suggested police-brutality protesters in Minneapolis could be shot.

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