It is not something new for advertising money to fall into the pockets of website operators who incite conspiracy theories, misinformation, and hate speech between different groups in society or spread hostile propaganda against societies.
The fight against it has been seen in recent years in various parts of the world.
In 2016, the US movement Sleeping Giants organized a campaign against subscribing to advertisements in the newsletter Breitbart, which distributes extreme views. One of the creators of the initiative posted screenshots on social media of the advertisement appearing on the website and added a link (tag) to the account of the company that ordered the advertisement. 820 large companies, including Lenovo, BMW, VISA, HP, Vimeo, etc., joined the campaign.
In the same year, the Stop Funding Hate campaign was launched in the United Kingdom. The campaign called for an end to subscriptions to media outlets that exploited readers’ fears to increase newspaper sales. The focus was on the English media outlets The Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express. The campaign targeted, for example, Barclays, British Airways, Gillette, Lego, Marks & Spencer, Virgin Media, etc.
In 2019, the Fair Advertising initiative was launched in the Czech Republic to combat the publication of advertisements on websites that disseminate false information and conspiracy theories. Fair Advertising activists post screenshots of ads found on such pages on their Twitter account. The campaign is based on the database Konspiratori.sk created from websites that disseminate false information and conspiracy theories, which you can read more about in Propastop’s post here.
In the fall of 2020, we wrote about the Stop Hate For Profit campaign that started in the USA. The action was aimed at spreading socially divisive messages on social media. The initiative was led by a group of human rights organizations who focused it against Facebook, which has not curbed enough hate speech and racist attacks in its environment.
Propastop first wrote about advertisements in Russian propaganda newspapers in 2017, and the problem has not disappeared by today.
Advertising ends up on websites that incite conspiracy theories, misinformation, incitement to hatred between different groups in society, or disseminate hostile propaganda against societies out of ignorance, inattention, or opportunism.
Photos: Screenshots from Twitter