Will gay activists boycott Facebook, too? Activities of "Boycott Target" restricted by FB

Posted by JD Uy
September 20, 2010 5:32 AM |
''Facebook is interfering with the function of a page dedicated to individuals organizing in response to corporate action to which they object.... With the limited avenues for such expression and organization and the importance of the Internet to that ability, anything that threatens that expression is dangerous.''

Nicholas Lefevre, described by Politico as "a promoter of the Target boycott." Lefevre is responding to the "lock out" by Facebook of an administrator for the online group "Boycott Target Until They Cease Funding Anti-Gay Politics.'' In recent months, some people in the gay community have called for and participated in a boycott against Target Corp and Best Buy. It was revealed in July that the popular chain stores have generously funded an organization that promotes an anti-gay gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota. Nearly 80,000 people have joined the activist group's Facebook page.

It is being reported by Politico that Facebook (the world's largest online social media site) has put a damper on the activities of the "Boycott Target" group. At least one other group, which is calling for a boycott against BP (the controversial oil company), is said to have had the same restrictions placed upon it.

Parts of the "Boycott Target" pages do continue to function but, according to Politico, Facebook administrators are "banning new discussion threads, preventing members from posting videos and standard Web links to other sites and barring the page’s administrator from sending updates to those who signed up for the boycott." Politico says both Target and BP deny asking Facebook to act against the activist groups. A second "Boycott Target'' page has been established on Facebook. (Politico)

''The new Facebook gift cards will be available in values of $15, $25 and $50 at all of Target's 1,750 retail stores and at Target.com. Two or three more national retailers will start selling the cards in coming months.''

Curiously, in a related corporate development, it has been announced that Target will be the first seller of gift cards that contain Facebook credits.  (USA Today)

Reaching Out is the annual conference of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) graduate business school students. This year, 1,000 students, business leaders, and recruiters are expected to gather from October 14 thru October 17 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

Description of an upcoming LGBT business conference, Reaching Out, that lists Target Corp. as one of its leading "Platinum sponsors." Target has been an open supporter of other gay specific events over the years, like Minnesota Pride. Some activists are pushing for all-things-related-to-Target to come under scrutiny. Other people have criticized activists' boycott as focusing on a strong corporate ally; adding that they should be going after Tom Emmer, the anti-gay rights political adversary who is at the center of the tension. (ReachingOutMBA.org)

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