social media platforms

Lush quits Facebook, TikTok, others until platforms ensure ‘safer environment for users’

Vernise Tantuco
Lush quits Facebook, TikTok, others until platforms ensure ‘safer environment for users’

ANTI-SOCIAL MEDIA. Cosmetics company Lush quits Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat until these platforms can provide a safe environment for their users.

Facebook/Lush Philippines

'We at Lush don't want to wait for better worldwide regulations or for the platforms to introduce best practice guidelines, while a generation of young people are growing up experiencing serious and lasting harm,' the company says

Saying it is “taking matters into its own hands,” cosmetics company Lush announced that it has left several major social media platforms – including Facebook and TikTok – starting Friday, November 26, and would continue to do so “until these platforms can provide a safer environment for their users.”

Lush said in a statement on its “global Anti-Social Media policy” posted on its website that it signed out of Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat in light of what whistleblowers have said about Facebook.

“From 26th November 2021, the global Lush brand will be turning its back on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat, until the platforms take action to provide a safer environment for users. This policy is rolling out across all the 48 countries where Lush operates,” the company said.

“In the same way that evidence against climate change was ignored and belittled for decades, concerns about the serious effects of social media are going largely ignored now. Lush is taking matters into its own hands and addressing the issues now, not waiting around until others believe in the problem before changing its own behavior,” it added.

One such whistleblower is Frances Haugen, a former product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation team. She provided documents used in a Wall Street Journal investigation and a Senate hearing on Instagram’s harm to teenage girls.

“We wouldn’t ask our customers to meet us down a dark and dangerous alleyway – but some social media platforms are beginning to feel like places no one should be encouraged to go. Something has to change. We hope that platforms will introduce strong best practice guidelines, and we hope that international regulation will be passed into law.  But we can’t wait,” Lush said.

“We feel forced to take our own action to shield our customers from the harm and manipulation they may experience whilst trying to connect with us on social media,” it added.

Lush said it doesn’t “want to wait for better worldwide regulations or for the platforms to introduce best practice guidelines, while a generation of young people are growing up experiencing serious and lasting harm.”

“Now is the right time to find better ways to connect without putting our customers in harm’s way,” the company said.

It added: “It is not enough for companies to just stop placing paid advertising; people and their time are the currency of these channels and we do not want our content to be used by hidden algorithms designed to hold people captive on a channel.”

The cosmetics company is still on Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.

In 2019, Lush stopped posting on Instagram and Facebook due to concerns about how much control the platforms had over their communication with their customers. They returned to these platforms in 2020 light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lush’s new policy is enforced in all 48 countries where the company operates.

The last post on the Lush Philippines Facebook page is a gif with the tagline “be somewhere else.”

The November 26 post is captioned: “Whether that’s in a bath with a good book; taking some me-time with a facemask and a drink; or simply getting outside for some fresh air, we’re encouraging our customers to stop scrolling and be somewhere else instead. We want to engage with you in places that look after you and your mental wellbeing.” – Rappler.com

Vernise Tantuco

Vernise Tantuco is on Rappler's Research Team, fact checking suspicious claims, wrangling data, and telling stories that need to be heard.