Some UK publications are using hateful content to generate sensationalist stories, increase sales and push social division. Advertisers are a major part of their business model, providing up to half of many companies’ revenues. With hate crime on the rise in the UK, Stop Funding Hate and Ethical Consumer are making hate unprofitable by persuading advertisers to pull their support from these publications.
The new guides will help individuals and campaign organisations to:
- Identify hateful content
- Persuade advertisers to withdraw their funding
- Use social media to amplify their action
Increasing hate crime
Home Office figures showed a 9% rise in hate crime for the year ending in March 2021, 70% of which was racially targeted. We know that some UK publications are using hateful content to generate sensationalist stories to increase sales and push social division. So much so that, in 2015, the UN Human Rights Chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, directly urged the UK to examine the incitement to hatred prevalent in its media, particularly the sustained attacks on refugees and migrants seen in the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express.
Many advertisers have no idea that their adverts are appearing next to hateful articles and when their customers contact them, many advertisers pull adverts and remove their funds.
Stop Funding Hate
Since the launch of Stop Funding Hate in 2016:
- Hundreds of advertisers have moved their budgets away from hateful
- Two national papers, with an average monthly reach of over 36 million people, have reviewed their approach to hate speech.
- The number of anti-migrant front pages in the Daily Express fell from 70 in 2016 to 0 in
The news guides share their tactics to ensure that all those concerned by hate in the UK are able to tackle it.
Richard Wilson from Stop Funding Hate said, “Social media has created a powerful mechanism for challenging advertisers about the media they are funding – and Stop Funding Hate supporters have already helped to bring about significant changes in the UK press. But these tactics are still new, and less widely used than more traditional campaigning methods.
“There’s a way to go before we have a media that treats everyone fairly – and we know that there may be challenging times ahead. Sharing knowledge of #StopFundingHate tactics could be the key to empowering more people to take action, and building a movement to challenge media hate over the longer-term.”
“So many people in the UK face hate daily. The figures are astounding, and the media undoubtedly has a major part to play. Many household name products have funded hateful content – often without even knowing where their adverts are,” Clare Carlile from Ethical Consumer said.
“Without funding, media outlets cannot continue to pump out these kinds of headlines. Stop Funding Hate have provided a blueprint for pushing for change: we’re sharing their tactics so any of us can act when we see media hate.”