Ben & Jerry’s quit Twitter ads over Elon Musk’s ‘dangerous anti-Democratic lies’

Continuing to advertise on Twitter would go against the brand’s “progressive values,” the ice cream maker said.

By Shiryn Ghermezian, Algemeiner

Ben & Jerry’s will end all paid advertising on Twitter because of what it called the “proliferation of hate speech” on the social media platform since it was purchased by SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the Vermont-based ice cream company announced last week.

The ice cream maker said that continuing to advertise on Twitter would go against the brand’s “progressive values” and that it has decided to take “a stand against these harmful changes” happening on the online platform. It explained that following Musk’s acquisition of Twitter in October 2022, which made him the company’s new owner and CEO, hate speech on Twitter “is up dramatically while content moderation has become all but non-existent.”

“In addition to the changes on the platform that have led to an increase in hate speech, Musk himself has doubled down on dangerous anti-Democratic lies and white nationalist hate speech,” added the company that was founded by Bennett Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, both of whom are Jewish. “The platform has become a threatening and even dangerous space for people from so many backgrounds, including people who are Black, Brown, trans, gay, women, people with disabilities, Jewish, Muslim and the list goes on. This is unconscionable in addition to being plain bad business.”

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Ben & Jerry’s additionally slammed Musk and Twitter’s “toxicity and tacit endorsement of hate and violence,” saying it “goes against everything our company stands for.”

“Twitter must act today to end the extremist and violent content on the platform. Until that happens, Ben & Jerry’s will spend no money with Twitter and we call on all businesses and partners to do the same,” it concluded by saying. “For the time being, we will continue to maintain a presence on the platform to connect with our community, but will revisit that presence as needed pending developments in this space.”

In July 2021, Ben & Jerry’s announced that it would stop selling its ice cream in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, areas it called “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” because it was “inconsistent” with its company values. Its boycott decision resulted in major backlash in the US and a number of states — including Arizona, New Jersey, Texas, Illinois and Florida — moved to sell its investments in the ice cream maker’s parent company, the British conglomerate Unilever, in compliance with state laws prohibiting business with entities boycotting Israel.

Unilever then moved in June 2022 to sell the ice cream maker’s business in Israel to a local licensee, which would allow Ben & Jerry’s products to continue being sold or distributed in Israeli territories. Ben & Jerry’s filed a lawsuit against Unilever in July of last year to block the sale but to no avail.