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Ben & Jerry’s Joins the Big Facebook Ad Boycott

Also: a new grocery co-op in Oakland, and more news to start your day

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Ben & Jerry’s won’t advertise on Facebook as of July 1 in an effort to encourage stricter moderation of hate speech on the platform
Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images

The list of brands that refuse to advertise on Facebook is growing

Ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s has joined a movement called “Stop the Hate for Profit,” an effort to convince Menlo Park-based tech company Facebook to remove abusive content from its platform by hitting it where it hurts — its ad revenues.

The Vermont-based company, which since 2000 has been owned by British-Dutch conglomerate Unilever, announced via Twitter Tuesday that it will cease paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram (which Facebook owns) as of July 1, saying “We call on Facebook, Inc. to take the clear and unequivocal actions called for by the campaign to stop its platform from being used to spread and amplify racism and hate.”

Over 55 percent of Facebook users say they’ve experienced some form of abuse on the site, CNet reports, and civil rights groups including the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, and Colors of Change — all of whom back Stop the Hate for Profits — say that an ad boycott might be the only way to encourage the platform to more strictly moderate content that encourages bigotry, violence, or harassment.

In a blog post Tuesday, Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of Integrity, defended the company against Ben & Jerry’s claims, saying “we don’t allow hate speech on Facebook” and that “moving fast to find and remove hate speech takes significant investment in both people and technology.” Other companies that have joined the boycott are outerwear companies like Eddie Bauer, REI, The North Face and Patagonia, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

And in other news...

  • Contra Costa County has seen a significant spike in coronavirus cases in the past three days, but at a county supervisors’ meeting Tuesday afternoon, Deputy Health Officer Dr. Sara Levin said that it shouldn’t stand in the way of the region’s planned July 1 reopening for indoor dining and bars. [East Bay Times]
  • The Golden State Warriors are working with Uber Eats to encourage delivery orders from restaurants like Home of Chicken and Waffles and Lena’s Soul Food Cafe, with promises of reduced delivery fees and meal donations to essential workers. [NBA.com]
  • Speaking of COVID-19 spikes, Sonoma County saw 50 new cases Monday [Santa Rosa Press-Democrat], just a week after an outbreak was traced to an area winery where three workers tested positive for the virus. [NBC Bay Area]
  • Restaurants that launched outdoor dining via San Francisco’s Shared Spaces program still can’t serve booze, as a mismatch between city and state regulations that was first reported last week [Mission Local] persists today — with at least 51 restaurants in liquor license limbo for now. [SF Weekly]
  • The Lafayette location of East Bay coffee shop chain the Coffee Shop is making a pivot from beans to beer. It’ll remain Coffee Shop Lafayette in the morning, then switch to a place called the Brew Garden after 1, serving beer, tacos, and tequila. [San Jose Mercury News]
  • Most of the folks waiting in line at San Francisco food banks are women who came here from Central America, Mexico and China. Here are some of their stories. [Mission Local]
  • David Ruiz, the owner of Mission District bar Junior, has opened a new restaurant called Stillwater in Fairfax. Its oysters, salads, and tacos are available for takeout or to eat on its Broadway Boulevard patio. [Marin Independent Journal]
  • Starbucks struck a deal with Redwood City-based Impossible Foods for a fake sausage breakfast sandwich, which is available at “the majority” if its coffee shops this week. [KRON 4]
  • A group of Black and Brown East Oakland residents have founded the area’s first worker-owned grocery co-op. The East Oakland Grocery Cooperative (EOGC) is focused on “fresh, local, healthy and culturally relevant foods,” with a plan to find a location and open in 2021. [Berkeleyside]
  • Mill Valley standby Buckeye Roadhouse has been serving takeout during the shelter in place, and reopened for outdoor dining on June 8. It’s since closed again, after two employees tested positive for COVID-19, and says that it’ll “bring in an outside company to do a thorough deep cleaning of the entire store” and reopen on July 6. [SFist]

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