In the wake of criticism of Facebook’s lax policies on moderating hateful content, Sony and its PlayStation brand counts as the latest to temporarily suspend marketing on Facebook and Instagram. In doing so, the company joins the likes of Coca-Cola, Ford, Honda, and Microsoft in solidarity with the #StopHateForProfit campaign. The campaign targets social media networks such as Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook), both of which have come under fire for failing to combat hate speech and the ongoing spread of misinformation.
In a statement on the matter (via GamesIndustry.biz), PlayStation explained: “In support of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, we have globally suspended our Facebook and Instagram activity, including advertising and non-paid content, until the end of July. We stand for working (and playing) together for good.”
The inclusion of “non-paid content” seems to indicate that Sony and PlayStation will no longer be using Facebook to promote PS Blog posts, new game announcements, or use its brand page at all. This comes during a month when it’s final major PS4 exclusive, Ghost of Tsushima, is releasing, and rumors of a PS5 price reveal are picking up.
Late last month, Stop Hate For Profit campaign organizers issued an open letter to companies that advertise on Facebook properties. The ad boycott has picked up steam in the last few days or so. It is primarily intended to hit the social network where it seems to matter most–the pockets.
Facebook, for example, makes the vast majority of its money from advertisements. Reportedly, a whopping $70 billion of the network’s revenue in 2019 came from advertising dollars alone. With the likes of Adidas, Clorox, Ford, Microsoft, Sony, and Volkswagen sitting out, even just for a month, the hope is that Facebook will have no choice but to enact change in some meaningful way.
According to eMarketer’s Principal Analyst, Debra Aho Williamson, such a “level of marketer action around Facebook” is unprecedented. “This definitely seems more widespread,” Williamson recently told CNET.