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Teen Brand Quits Social Media: 'Something Has to Change'

Lush will shutter IG, FB, TikTok, Snapchat on Black Friday, won't come back til user safety is improved
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2021 10:15 AM CST
This Huge Teen Brand Is Ditching Social Media
A June 1, 2016 file photo of a shop sign for LUSH.   (Nick Ansell/PA via AP)

(Newser) – While most brands are revving up their social media for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the holiday shopping season, one teen favorite just made a shocking announcement: It's shuttering its social media entirely on the day after Thanksgiving. At least for now, says Lush Cosmetics—known for its cruelty-free bath bombs, soaps, and shampoos—which notes it's staying off of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and TikTok globally until those platforms can prove their platforms are safer for users, reports CNN Business.

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Spurring the company's decision: the "bullying, fake news, extremist viewpoints, FOMO [fear of missing out], phantom vibrations, manipulative algorithms; an endlessly scrolling stream, leading, we are told, to massively increasing rates of youth suicides, depression, anxiety," it says in a release explaining the company's plans to go "anti-social." It adds, "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."

Per Vogue Business, the move is taking place after headlines over whistleblowers who came forward about the risks that social media algorithms—notably Facebook's—can pose to users' mental health. "Social media was not designed to look after people's health, but our products are," says Jack Constantine, Lush's chief digital officer. "It is counterintuitive for us to use platforms that keep you hypertense, engaged, and anxious."

It's not the first time the company has tried to abandon some portion of its online presence: In 2019, it tried to flee from its UK social media accounts, but the company soon found itself logging on again, "despite our best intentions," per the release. Lush notes it won't be completely invisible this time around, as the company says it still plans to feature YouTube content that users can check out, as well as to "do all we can to find new ways to connect, to build better channels of communication elsewhere, as well as using the older tried and tested routes." (Read more social media stories.)

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