A leftist activist Twitter account is organizing followers against Breitbart. The group encourages people to take screengrabs of ads on Breitbart, send them to the company behind the ad and cast shame on what they say is a misogynistic, racist news site.
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) December 13, 2016
Users include some of the raciest Milo Yiannopoulos headlines to really pack a punch.
— KeithLeBlanc (@KeithLeBlanc63) December 4, 2016
— Grace Leonard (@graciegenie) December 15, 2016
Breitbart has shown to be incredibly vindictive towards advertisers pulling out from their website for political reasons. The site launched an ongoing crusade against cereal giant Kellogg for discontinuing ads, publishing dozens of anti-Kellogg articles and starting the hashtag #DumpKelloggs. T-mobile and BMW have also pulled ads but have not received the same treatment.
Sleeping Giant’s tactics of organizing an online movement to target a media company’s ad revenue is nothing new. In 2014 supporters of the Gamergate movement successfully lobbied Intel to pull ads from Gamasutra after the site published an vitriolic article declaring gamers to be dead.
Gamergate also mounted a large scale effort against Gawker Media’s advertisers in retaliation for anti-Gamergate coverage and a facetious tweet from one of their writers saying nerds should be bullied into submission. A former Gawker editor even admitted later that these tactics were highly effective.
It’s not clear how the loss of ad revenue is affecting Breitbart’s business, but the more companies that pull ads, the harder it will be for Breitbart to campaign against all of them. #DumpKelloggs was affective at rallying conservatives, but how many Twitter campaigns can they wage against an increasing number of fleeing advertisers?