Ben & Jerry’s Withdraws Advertising from Twitter, Declares It a 'Threatening Place' for Minorities

(Ben & Jerry’s via AP)

The notoriously left-wing ice cream firm Ben & Jerry’s has announced it will no longer pay for advertising on Twitter, citing a supposed “proliferation of hate speech on the platform.”


In a post on the platform itself, the company admits that Elon Musk’s support for free speech is the primary motivation for withdrawing their advertising dollars:

Ben & Jerry’s business model is built around the idea that every decision we make, and every dollar we spend in the course of our day-to-day operations is an opportunity to advance our progressive values.

That’s why we have made the decision to end all paid advertising spending on Twitter.

We’ve watched with great concern the developments at Twitter following Elon Musk’s purchase of the social media platform. Hate speech is up dramatically while content moderation has become all but non-existent.

The company goes on to accuse Musk himself of embracing “white nationalist hate speech,” and making the platform a threatening place “people from so many backgrounds,” such as people in the LGBT and minority communities:

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. 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.


The statement closes out by urging other advertisers to do the same, and includes a threat to boycott the platform entirely unless Musk ramps up censorship in a way similar to the previously leadership:

That is why we’re proud to join our partners in the business, civil and human rights community in taking a stand against these harmful changes at Twitter. Musk and Twitter’s toxicity and tacit endorsement of hate and violence 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.

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.

Despite the strong words, Ben & Jerry’s opposition to free speech should come as no surprise to those who have monitored the company’s activities in recent years. In 2021, the firm withdrew its products from Israel, or in their words, “occupied Palestinian territory,” a decision that put it odds with its parent company Unilever.


The company’s founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, have previously waded directly into party politics. In 2019, the brand announced a limited edition ice cream in support of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Cohen said at the time that Sanders was the “the best candidate to beat Trump and drive the transformational change that we need to create a country that works for working families,” although Democratic voters ultimately rejected his advice.


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