Cosmetic retailer Lush QUITS Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat until social media platforms ‘take action to provide safer environment for users’
- Lush will be closing down the accounts on Friday in all 48 countries it operates in
- Chief inventor Jack Constantine said the decision could reduce sales by £10m
- Mr Constantine said Lush may return if platforms ‘change how they treat users’
- The company quit social media in 2019 but returned ‘despite the best intentions’
The cosmetics firm Lush will be shutting down some of its social media channels until the platforms ‘take action to provide safer environment for users’.
From Friday, the company will be closing down its accounts on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat.
Jack Constantine, chief inventor at Lush, said the policy will be extended to all 48 countries the company currently operates in.
He said Lush will continue operating its Twitter and Youtube pages, but said these decisions will be ‘reviewed again’.
Lush previously attempted to shut down some of its social media channels in 2019 but found itself back ‘despite the best intentions’ due to its fear of missing out.
However, the company said this time it was ‘strengthened by all the latest information from courageous whistleblowers’ to protect young people from the ‘known harms’ they can be exposed to on these platforms.
The cosmetics firm Lush will be shutting down some of its social media channels until the platforms ‘take action to provide safer environment for users’. Pictured, stock image
Jack Constantine, chief inventor at Lush, said the policy will be extended to all 48 countries the company currently operates in
Mr Constantine said the decision to shut down some social media accounts, particularly the Lush Cosmetics North America page which has four million followers on Instagram and 1.2million on Facebook, could see the company lose around £10m in sales’.
But, he said, Lush was forced to ‘take matters into its own hands’ because the ‘serious effects of social media are going largely ignored now’.
Mr Constantine told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the company may return if the platforms ‘change how they treat users’.
He said: ‘We’re not happy with what social media channels are doing in terms of not looking after its users.
‘It didn’t feel like a place that was safe for our customers to be engaging with us.
‘There’s always an opportunity for us to return if there’s a change with how they treat users.
‘They have a craving over the algorithm to constantly generate content regardless of whether it’s good for users or not.
‘They would need to change their algorithm so they aren’t forcefeeding more content that fuels bad mental health in a negative way.’
From Friday, the company will be closing down its accounts on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat. Picture, stock image
In a statement, the company said: ‘Like so many teenagers have experienced before us, Lush has tried to come off social media, but our FOMO (fear of missing out) is vast, and our compulsion to use the various platforms means we find ourselves back on there, despite our best intentions.
‘So here we are again, trying to go cold (plant-based) turkey.
‘Having previously attempted this in 2019, our resolve has been strengthened by all the latest information from courageous whistleblowers, which clearly lays out the known harms that young people are exposed to because of the current algorithms and loose regulation of this new area of our lives.’
Mr Constantine said his products are designed to help people ‘switch off, relax and pay attention to their wellbeing’, but claims social media companies have ‘become the antithesis of this’, with algorithms designed to ‘keep people scrolling and stop them from switching off and relaxing’.
The company added: ‘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.
‘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.
‘So Lush will be signing out from Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat, until these platforms can provide a safer environment for their users.’
Mark Constantine, the co-found and chief executive of Lush said: ‘I’ve spent all my life avoiding putting harmful ingredients in my products.
‘There is now overwhelming evidence we are being put at risk when using social media.
‘I’m not willing to expose my customers to this harm, so it’s time to take it out of the mix.’
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