Their name is Sleeping Giants, their action is simple; give a shout out on social websites to companies whose advertising finds themselves on fake news or hate websites. The goal is that the targeted company ask their add to be taken off the websites which will reduce the income generated by their internet domain.
Nowadays, due to ‘programmed advertisement’, some companies don’t know where their add end up, as they show up automatically according to the user. Now, programmed advertising is huge, it represents 53% of numerical advertisement. Therefore, it’s the most used advertisement form which is understandable, knowing the importance of the internet in our contemporary daily life.
‘Fight for the good reasons’
The sleeping giants understand everybody is using the internet nowadays and that some website out there are sharing racist/homophobic ideas, fake news… What made them realise the internet wasn’t safe anymore, is the 2016 U.S presidential election. They made their first big hit with the unfortunately famous website Breitbart News, when they publicly called out the brand Kellogg’s to take their add of this right-wing hateful website. As a response, the website lead by former trump counselor, Steve Bannon, called for a boycott of the brand, Kellogg’s being the leader in cereal in the U.S.
So, who are the sleeping giants? Well, according to Rachel, a sleeping giant that is willing to stay anonymous, anybody can be, from ‘Students to retired journalists, as long as you fight for the good reasons’ Rachel for example, has never been a nerd, she didn’t even have twitter before starting this, and never actively took part in any movement. The Sleeping giants refused to be linked to any political party.
‘Sleeping giants in the United States quickly realised the impact those fake news websites had on the election, the amount of alarming ideas related on those websites is unacceptable.’ In France, the website ‘Boulevard Voltaire’ a far-right news website, has seen 520 advertisements removed from his domain, out of 1400, thanks to their action. Rachel says when an advertisement stays on the website ‘the companies either never answered or just don’t care about the matter…’Unfortunately, it’s a bit hard to realise how much impact their work has, the issue being further; all the cookies you cumulate don’t care about the website you go to. Putting an end to the capitalist spiral is almost impossible. For Rachel it’s unbelievable that such websites can advertise: ‘The core issue is that those websites shouldn’t exist, but they’re still up there generating profit’
Wondering what would be the next target of sleeping giants, Rachel said that any website can be targeted. She mentioned the ‘pseudo-scientific’ websites that are dangerous for unaware consumers, and she mentioned that in a perfect world, there would be a law that prohibits advertisement on a few websites.
Anyone of you can be a sleeping giant: just go on any hateful/fake news website and take a screenshot of the page, with the ad perfectly showed (circled is better) and tweet the concerned company AND Sleeping Giants (@splng_giants). It seems like the sleeping giant is finally awake.