Jul 1, 2020

KIND’s Decision to #StopHateforProfit

Below is the note that I shared with the KIND Snacks team today.

KIND Team,

As we’ve sadly discussed on several occasions, the rise in polarization, tribal division, mistrust, prejudice and hatred is alarming and threatens to tear apart the social fabric that binds society together. Our mission to foster kindness and build bridges across lines of difference has never since our founding (or since I remember) been more urgent.

And yet, social media platforms – and particularly Facebook – have been exacerbating divisions and fueling hatred by knowingly allowing false and hateful information to permeate across their platforms.

We used to love that Facebook was a platform where you could know who users were and you felt connected to the community. But it has since been overtaken by fake accounts and trolls and tools of disinformation, bigotry and hatred. Its algorithms exacerbate division, as it has been documented that negative hateful stories get shared more; yet Facebook shut down efforts to address this problem. On top of this, Facebook does not take meaningful efforts to take down content that is demonstrably false, defamatory or hateful.

This must change, for the sake of Facebook regaining its role as a trusted platform, and, far more important, for the sake of society.

We’ve decided today that KIND – in the United States and across the 32 countries where we now operate – will vote with our advertising dollars in favor of truth, fairness, civility, and kindness. Most immediately, KIND is joining the Stop Hate for Profit initiative started by Color of Change, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL, whose Board I serve on), and others. We will pause our Facebook and Instagram advertising across all product lines starting July 1st through the close of the month.

While we set ambitious business objectives for July, which originally included a major new product campaign on Facebook, our team consulted with all our international and category partners and we all concluded that this was the right thing to do. We need to communicate to our counterparts at Facebook that, as much as we all care about financial objectives, protecting our society and stopping groups from undermining our democracy, our rule of law, and our social fabric matters far more.

Suspending our ad spend in July across all Facebook-owned properties is a meaningful message. But we also want to share that if these practices do not change – if Facebook doesn’t take visible, measurable and assertive efforts to effectively prevent the promotion of hate, division, defamation and misinformation by this year’s end – we will feel compelled to evaluate indefinitely suspending our investments in Facebook until they do so.

Sincerely,

Daniel Lubetzky

Democracy          Empathy          Leadership

More from Daniel

There’s only one way to stop violent extremists, as seen in CNN

(CNN) Extremism has a knack for metastasizing and coming back to wreak havoc upon its hosts. Once a cohort or society builds a hateful mindset, the hatred takes on a life of its own. Extremist ideology not only hurts a society’s enemies, but also eventually attacks from within and harms the society from which it originated. I first started observing this phenomenon abroad — and it saddens but does not surprise me that we are starting to see it haunt American democracy too.

read more

Continuing KIND’s efforts to promote a kinder, more equitable world

Even before COVID, our social fabric was beginning to fray. Over the course of years, long-standing inequalities and systemic racism have become starkly exposed and greatly exacerbated as division and polarization among Americans grows. Now, more than 10 million Americans remain unemployed and over 350,000 people have lost their lives to COVID. People of Color have been disproportionately affected due to inequalities rampant across our healthcare system, economy, and society.

Overcoming these challenges will require all of us to deepen our commitment to standing up against injustice while also working to rebuild trust and empathy across our communities. We must continue to dig deep to model the values we want to see in our society by taking stock of our own actions, big or small, each day. As a global brand and movement, KIND has an even greater opportunity and responsibility to make an impact…

read more

Thank you for your support in 2020

KIND Friends,

2020 has been a deeply challenging year for our country. At KIND and The KIND Foundation, we have worked hard to support one another and our communities with initiatives such as the Frontline Impact Project, which is mobilizing companies to donate resources to over a million frontline heroes including healthcare workers battling COVID and firefighters responding to our nation’s wildfires. At the same time, we have sought to keep you nourished throughout this trying time by upholding our KIND Promise to create delicious and healthy foods that lead with wholesome, nutritious ingredients.

read more