By Parija Kavilanz, CNN Business
Trendy soaps brand Lush Cosmetics is quitting Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat on Friday in a radical move to draw attention to how those platforms are damaging people’s mental health.
The company said Monday that its accounts will be deactivated on Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving, when most other brands and retailers kick their social media activity into high gear to win over holiday gift shoppers.
Lush, which has more than 900 stores worldwide, including 240 across the United States and Canada, said it will remain off those social media channels globally until the platforms ensure a safer environment for their users.
As much as Lush is known for its cruelty-free and organic bath bombs, shampoos and soaps, the brand also actively champions social and environmental causes such as Black Lives Matter, fights against deforestation and promotes sustainability to its 659,000 Instagram followers, 275,000 Twitter fans and more than 1 million Facebook followers.
This isn’t the first time Lush, a Millennials and Gen Z -favored brand, has tried quitting social media. The company made a similar attempt with its UK accounts in 2019 saying “It was tired of fighting with algorithms” and wanted to talk directly with its customers.
The latest effort, however, is happening at a time when social media companies are under even more intense scrutiny over how their platforms may be contributing to mental and physical health issues, especially among younger individuals.
Facebook is currently in the middle of possibly the biggest crisis in its 17-year history over issues about hate speech and misinformation, which have been amplified on the platform.
“As an inventor of bath bombs, I pour all my efforts into creating products that help people switch off, relax and pay attention to their wellbeing,” Jack Constantine, chief digital officer and product inventor at Lush, said in a release. “Social media platforms have become the antithesis of this aim, with algorithms designed to keep people scrolling and stop them from switching off and relaxing.”
The company said it hopes social media companies will ultimately enact stronger best practice guidelines. Lush said it will continue to be active on Twitter and YouTube.
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