Automakers continue to find ways to try to become part of social change as Ford Motor Co. is pausing all advertising on social media platforms in the U.S. for the next 30 days, calling for an end to hate speech and other racially insensitive actions there.
The Dearborn, Michigan-based company, according to Reuters, joined a growing list of companies supporting a campaign against Facebook Inc. claiming the internet company isn’t doing enough to stop hate speech on its platform.
The No. 2 U.S. automaker said it would re-evaluate its presence on all social media platforms and added that hate speech, violence and racial injustice in content on social media “needs to be eradicated.” A spokesman said Ford is evaluating such spending in other regions, Reuters reported.
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, automakers have becoming increasing active in their push to accelerate change. Recently many companies blacked out their social media in support, replacing their usual commentary about products with phrases germane to the current situation.
Automakers marked Juneteenth, the day that slavery was formally outlawed in the U.S. General Motors observed 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence on June 19, which matched the amount of time that the Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck, which led to his death. GM’s Cruise subsidiary announced plans Tuesday to do treat Juneteenth as a holiday.
GM CEO Mary Barra speaking at a meeting of Detroit civic leaders expressed her disgust and impatience with the pace of change and what the auto company plans to do to help the situation. Ford Chairman Bill Ford and Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley expressed similar sentiments at that time.
Other automakers have become involved, those efforts include:
- Mercedes-Benz and BMW announcing separately they were making donations to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which has been fighting for racial justice since the turn of the 20th century.
- Lexus “respectfully postponed” the June 9 launch its new 2021 IS to June 15 to allow for more media coverage of the Black Lives Matter protest.
- Infiniti has been using its social media outlets to show support with phrases like “Until Black Lives Matter, luxury doesn’t,” and “Life should be a right, not a luxury.” The brand disabled comments because “our support for Black Lives Matter and the Black community are not up for discussion.” It also encouraged its followers to join in supporting the NAACP.
- Mazda North America will be making a financial contribution to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, using #JusticeForGeorge, tweeted surprise about the decision to charge only one of the police officers involved in the death of Floyd.
Additionally, American Honda said last week it was suspending its Facebook and Instagram advertising for the month of July.