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Bath bomb giant in Burnaby deactivating social media to send a message

Company wants safer online platforms
Lush Facebook photo

Social media companies are being put on notice as yet another company is rebelling against unsafe platforms.

Lush Cosmetics, which operates a large store at Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby, will deactivate its social media accounts later this week in a bid to get tech companies to make online platforms safer.

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

The company, which likened social media to "a dark and dangerous alleyway," said the deactivation decision is meant to address consumers' mental health challenges and will not be reversed unless the platforms are made safer.

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

"I'm not willing to expose my customers to this harm, so it's time to take it out of the mix."

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

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

Lush had previously tried to abandon social media in 2019 with just its U.K. accounts, but came back when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Lush is now bringing back the deactivation and applying it to all 48 countries it operates in because its "resolve has been strengthened" by information from whistleblowers who recently laid out harms young people face because of algorithms and "loose regulation."

Companies have tried to push Facebook to adopt more consumer-friendly policies before, but the tech giant has not relented.

For example, Vancouver athleticwear companies Lululemon Athletica Inc., Mountain Equipment Co-op and Arc'teryx pulled their paid ads from Facebook in July 2020 as part of a global StopHateForProfit boycott supported by Coca-Cola, Unilever, Honda America, Patagonia and more.

  • With reporting by the Canadian Press