Why Lush Cosmetics is exiting the ‘dark and dangerous alleyway’ of social media

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Lush Cosmetics will deactivate its social media accounts later this week so tech companies can make the online platform safer.

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The UK retailer, which sells bath and body products and has a large footprint in Canada, on Monday announced its plans to stop posting to Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat accounts by Friday.

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The company, which likened social media to “a dark and dangerous alley”, said the decision to deactivate is to address the mental health challenges of consumers and will be reversed until platforms are made safer. will not be done.

“There is now overwhelming evidence that we are being put at risk when using social media,” Lush co-founder Mark Constantine said in a news release.

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“I’m unwilling to expose my clients to this loss, so it’s time to take it out of the mix.”

Facebook, Instagram and TikTok declined to comment on the campaign, while Snapchat did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Instead of using platforms, Lush will invest in new ways to connect and can still be found on Twitter and YouTube.

Lush had previously tried to quit social media in 2019 with just his UK accounts, but backed out when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Lush is now rolling back the deactivation and implementing it in all 48 countries in which it operates because its “resolve has been strengthened” by information from whistleblowers who recently criticized algorithms and “loose regulation” Young people have been harmed.

the backlash is growing

In the past few months, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen accused the company of prioritizing engagement and user growth over online safety.

Documents from the former Facebook data scientist suggested that the social media giant was aware of the pitfalls of its products and often did little or nothing to mitigate them.

Courtney Radsch, a senior fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation, said it’s hard to tell how much success Lush would have from its deactivation because it had not released a specific list of demands from social media companies.

He said getting platforms to take action is usually a “long slog” which has been made more difficult because “some social media platforms have taken the world hostage by becoming walled gardens where all of our communication takes place.” “

Companies have previously tried to push Facebook to adopt more consumer-friendly policies, but the tech giant has left no stone unturned.

For example, Vancouver athleticwear companies Lululemon Athletica Inc., Mountain Equipment Co-op and Arc’teryx in July 2020 raised their payments from Facebook as part of a global StopHateForProfit boycott backed by Coca-Cola, Unilever, Honda America, Patagonia and others. The ads were pulled. ,

The companies wanted to boycott Facebook because they believed it had not done enough to keep racist, false and dangerous content or white supremacists off its platform.

StopHateForProfit’s website said the study was completed since the boycott “no platform has made significant structural changes” and that Facebook has made the least progress toward meeting the coalition’s demands.

As of now, Lush has no other business that could blunt the campaign’s effectiveness.

“Companies will wait and see what kind of coverage it generates in terms of free earned media to spend on advertising around the holiday season versus Lush,” said Redush.

“And then of course, they would like to see the impact on sales and traffic revenue as well.”

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