Friday, June 26, 2020

The Facebook Ad Boycott Is About Silencing Conservatives, Not Stopping ‘Hate’

In the latest twist on cancel culture, major corporate advertisers are pulling ads from Facebook as part of a #StopHateForProfit campaign launched last week by the Anti-Defamation League. But this campaign isn’t about stopping hate.

On Wednesday, Goodby Silverstein & Partners – which represents companies such as BMW, Frito-Lay, PepsiCo and HP – said it’s joining what is supposed to be a month-long Facebook boycott in July.

“We are taking this action to protest the platform’s irresponsible propagation of hate speech, racism, and misleading voter information,” the ad agency tweeted.

Goodby joins the likes of The North Face, Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Eileen Fisher, Eddie Bauer, Magnolia Pictures, Upwork, HigherRing, Dashlane and Talkspace in pledging to yank ads from Facebook in July.

The Anti-Defamation League teamed up with the NAACP, and lesser-known groups such as Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense, to launch the boycott in response, it says, “to Facebook’s long history of allowing racist, violent and verifiably false content to run rampant on its platform.”

But it doesn’t take much investigative work to realize that this campaign is really about pressuring Facebook to do more than it already is to block conservative speech.

In the press release announcing the boycott, NAACP President Derrick Johnson complains that Facebook won’t take “significant steps to remove political propaganda from its platform.” 

Wait. What’s racist or violent about political propaganda? And who decides what makes certain political speech “propaganda”?

Johnson also complains that Facebook is “complacent in the spread of misinformation.” Doesn’t the left consider anything conservatives say to be “misinformation”?

Facebook is also guilty, the boycott group says, of “protecting … voter suppression.”

Dig a little deeper and you realize that “voter suppression” can mean anything from campaigns to mislead voters about when or where they should vote, to completely legitimate claims that imposing an all-mail voting system this November would create new opportunities for fraud.

Next, take a look at the groups organizing the campaign.

Sleeping Giants describes itself as “a campaign to make bigotry and sexism less profitable.” Its mission appears to be deplatforming conservatives.

The organization cheered, for example, when Twitter announced that it was permanently banning British commentator Katie Hopkins, who had a million followers on the platform and has been a columnist for The Sun and The Daily Mail, but whose views were apparently too controversial (read conservative) for Twitter. This is a platform, mind you where the hashtag #killTrump is perfectly OK.

Color of Change calls itself the nation’s largest online racial justice organization and has as one of its goals “dismantling right-wing … infrastructure/support” and “challenging … anti-progressive Trump administration and state policies.”

Its president, Rashad Robinson, has come out in favor of defunding the police, which he calls a “violent institution.”

Common Sense Media is run by Jim Steyer, who has close ties to Hillary Clinton and is the brother of environmental extremist Tom Steyer.

Net neutrality advocacy group Free Press is also involved in the campaign, which is supremely ironic given that its support for net neutrality is premised on “enabling anyone to share and access information of their choosing without interference.” Is it not aware that it’s specifically demanding that Facebook disable and interfere with users’ ability to “share and access information of their choosing”?

The Anti-Defamation League’s decision to attack Facebook is also curious, since Twitter is rife with anti-Semitic language. Two years ago, in fact, the ADL found at least 4.2 million anti-Semitic tweets over a 12-month period.Just a few days ago, the ADL took fire for its weak response to anti-Semitic tweets from rapper Ice Cube, about which it was able to muster only the term “disheartening.”

Why does Twitter get a free pass from these groups? Could it be because Twitter has been aggressively attacking President Donald Trump and those who want limited government, low taxes, free markets, free speech, and the right to own a gun?

So this boycott is nothing more than a politically motivated attempt to silence non-leftist speech. Companies backing it should be ashamed of themselves, not Facebook.