Six Flags has joined the growing list of companies that have pulled their advertising from Facebook, as well as other social media platforms, in protest over those platforms' promotion of lies and hate speech.
The amusement park chain posted the following statement across its social media accounts today:
To be fair, Six Flags had pulled all of its advertising spending across all platforms when its parks shut down earlier this year, as the company looked to conserve cash while its parks were closed. But with parks reopening, it would be logical for the company to resume ad buys as it looks to draw back fans.
So far I have not heard of any other theme park companies joining the #StopHateForProfit campaign, which was organized by the Anti-Defamation League and NAACP after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg basically washed his hands at calls for Facebook to take a stronger stand against the proliferation of hate speech and false information on the platform. A Fortune story lists Hershey's as among the campaign participants, but the chocolate company doesn't own the theme park that bears its name, as that's run by a separate foundation.
Full disclosure time. Although Theme Park Insider does not advertise on Facebook or any other social media network, we do post links to our stories there and have been paid by Facebook in the past, as the platform splits some advertising revenue with certain publishers who post videos to Facebook, including us. That said, the money we got from Facebook last month wouldn't buy a cup of coffee from Starbucks, so... yeah.
More to the point of the campaign, though U.S. federal law protects online publishers from liability for comments and content posted by their readers, I got into this to help people, not hurt them. Unfortunately, other publishers seem more concerned about their own financial health than the social health of their community.
Theme Park Insider does not use algorithms like Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms use to determine what you see. Everyone gets the same content here. And I try hard to provide an honest and insightful voice in our front-page posts, then a fair opportunity for people to respond in the comments and to post their own points of view on our discussion forum.
To that end, I've decided that I can do better as a publisher to control what stays up in the comments and on the discussion board. I admit that you've spoiled me in the past. Compared to a lot of other theme park-focused sites out there, the Theme Park Insider community traditionally has been kind and fair. So I've been able to get away with a hands-off approach toward comment moderation.
Sometimes I have to turn off comments on popular stories in order to take pressure off the site's server when those pages get slammed with traffic. But I rarely have had to step in to control reader-submitted content.
Right now, however, a lot of people who have enjoyed a privileged position in American society are lashing out as they see that privilege being challenged. That's playing out in person and online, in places such as on Facebook and even sometimes here on Theme Park Insider. So I am letting you know that I will be more aggressive about deleting comments going forward - not just to enforce our rules against posts that threaten, demean, humiliate, attack, or harass others, but also to remove comments that don't add anything to the discussion.
I love the community here and would love to hear more from all of you - not less. But I think that by clearing away some of the less useful chatter, we can make more space for the personal experiences and insight that we all really want to read instead.
As always, thanks for reading.Tweet
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