Patagonia CEO Slams Facebook, Calls on Other Businesses to Boycott Advertisements to Stop Misinformation

Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert took the the company’s Twitter account this afternoon to encourage businesses to join the outdoor retailer in removing advertisements from Facebook as well as its subsidiary Instagram.

The viral thread, which has over 57,000 likes collectively, explains Patagonia’s decision to stop all paid advertising on Facebook platforms in June 2020. According to the thread, Patagonia made this decision to protest the spread of “hate speech and misinformation about climate change and our democracy” on the platform.

The tweet came shortly after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company’s new name, Meta, and amid a reckoning for the platform. Facebook has recently been accused of failing to properly explain how misinformation related to COVID-19 vaccine is distributed. In the tweet, Gellert highlighted recent reports of internal documents at Facebook suggesting that the company had knowledge about how vaccine misinformation was spreading, but failed to share this information with White house officials.

“Facebook’s leadership knows what steps it can take to mitigate such harm — yet they have repeatedly failed to reform,” Gellert wrote. “We believe Facebook has a responsibility to make sure its products do no harm, and until they do, Patagonia will continue to withhold our advertising.”

Last June, Patagonia announced it would pull advertisements from Facebook and Instagram as part of its commitment to join the “Stop Hate for Profit” initiative, which aims to hold Facebook accountable for failing to address hateful posts and misinformation on the platform.

A group of civil rights organizations including The Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color Of Change, Free Press and Common Sense started the initiative in June of 2020. Since then, businesses of various sizes have paused or completely ended their advertising on Facebook.

“Patagonia is proud to join the ‘Stop Hate for Profit,'” the company wrote in a statement in July of 2020 attributed to its head of marketing Cory Bayers.

At the time, the pause was meant to last through the end of July 2020. 16 months later, the boycott still stands.

According to Gellert in the tweet, Patagonia’s business has suffered as a result of the decision but the company has learned how to adapt.

“We encourage other businesses to join us in pushing Facebook to prioritize people and the planet over profit,” Gellert wrote.

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