Facebook is fighting to keep one of its largest accounts on the platform after coffee giant Starbucks has begun evaluating its facebook presence in the wake of receiving a copious amount of negative feedback on its social media account.
Facebook employees told Buzzfeed News that the coffee chain has become increasingly "frustrated by the hate and intolerance on the platform," and is looking at potentially separating front he social media giant altogether.
If the company decides to do so, it would be one of the "largest companies ever to sever ties with Facebook."
Starbucks is in the process of evaluating their organic presence on FB, and whether they should continue to have a presence on the platform at all,” wrote a Facebook employee earlier this week to colleagues. “Anytime they post (organically) in regards to social issues or their mission & values work (e.g. BLM, LGBTQ, sustainability/climate change, etc.) they are overwhelmed by negative/insensitive, hate speech related comments on their posts."
While Facebook spokesperson Dani Lever said that the platform offers "tools to limit this content from appearing on partners’ pages including ways for brands to control those who can comment on their posts," the Starbucks team that manages the community has "struggled to moderate hateful responses and is unable to disable comments on their page."
In a statement to Buzzfeed, Starbucks spokesperson Sanja Gould wrote that "while some changes have been implemented, we believe more can be done to create welcoming and inclusive online communities. We work collaboratively with all companies we do business with to ensure any advertising done on our behalf is in alignment with our brand standards."
In recent years, Starbucks has received backlash from its anti-police stance that has extended well into the coffee branches, with some baristas denying service to officers in uniform.
Two sheriff's deputies in Southern California were "completely ignored' and denied service in December 2019, and in summer 2019 the company was forced to apologize after six Tempe, Arizona officers were asked to leave because "their presence was making a customer feel unsafe," wrote The Washington Post.
They tried to get served, they asked if anyone was going to help them, they were laughed at, they were completely ignored — obviously ignored to where other patrons knew they were being ignored,” said Riverside County Sherif Chad Bianco on the December 2019 incident.
In another 2019 incident, an Oklahoma police officer went to pick up his drink only to find the work "Pig" written on it. Starbucks had issued an appology for the incident, and the barista and manager at the branch were fired.
The company had released a collection of apparel and accessories supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in June 2020, writing in a press release "we see you. We hear you. Black Lives Matter. That is a fact and will never change. This movement is a catalyst for change, and right now, it’s telling us a lot of things need to be addressed so we can make space to heal."
The post was met with backlash, and according to the Daily Wire, it forced the company to change its stance, writing instead that "Black lives matter and Starbucks is committed to doing our part in ending systemic racism. As a company, Starbucks leaders continue to listen to partners (employees) about how they want to take a stand for justice, while proudly wearing the green apron and standing united together."