AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global nonprofit AIDS organization, today issued an ultimatum to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg with a July 4th deadline to act swiftly with steps to prevent hate speech on its social media platform postings and ads or AHF will pull its advertising dollars and join the growing number of for-profit companies and boycott the world’s largest social media platform.
With an annual budget of $1.7 billion, AHF currently operates free treatment clinics and HIV testing and prevention programs in 45 countries and currently cares for 1.4 million HIV/AIDS patients. AHF spends about $2 million annually on social media advertising—the bulk on Facebook—which may seem a modest amount compared with major Fortune 500 companies and other global brands; however, AHF’s is likely among the largest nonprofit ad spends on the platform globally.
So far, companies including Verizon, Patagonia, REI, The North Face, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Magnolia Pictures and others have joined a growing chorus of companies demanding action by Facebook to act to prevent “… racist, violent and verifiably false content to run rampant on its platform” as part of the rapidly expanding #StopHateForProfit campaign.
According to CNBC, the boycott effort is spearheaded by the groups the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color of Change, Free Press and Common Sense – which are asking “… large Facebook advertisers to show they will not support a company that puts profit over safety.”
“Given the vast number of clients and patients that we serve around the globe, Facebook has been an extremely useful tool for AHF to share important messaging about HIV prevention and HIV/AIDS care and treatment along with our other services and events,” said Michael Weinstein, AHF president. “However, we have long stood up and spoken out against hate, stigma and discrimination, notably in our ongoing #StandAgainstH8 campaign. We are now fully prepared to join this boycott of Facebook by many major companies that are disgusted by the timidity, cowardice and/or greed of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook unless he and the company put some concrete actions in place at the company by July 4th in order to truly #StopHateForProfit.”