After hearing that Facebook is sponsoring a dinner Thursday night hosted by right-wing judicial advocacy group the Federalist Society honoring Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, progressive advocacy group Demand Justice launched an ad campaign targeted at the company's employees in Menlo Park, California.
Facebook is listed as a "Gold Circle" sponsor of the Antonin Scalia Memorial Dinner. Kavanaugh is set to speak at the event, an arrangement which Demand Justice said makes Facebook complicit in "the rehabbing of Brett Kavanaugh's reputation" after Christine Blasey Ford testified under oath in 2018 that the judge sexually assaulted her when they were in high school.
While today Kavanaugh enjoys a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, Demand Justice senior counsel Katie O'Connor said in a statement, "Dr. Blasey Ford remains unable to resume a normal life after bravely coming forward last year. You can claim to respect survivors of sexual assault or you can pay for a celebration of Brett Kavanaugh, but you can't do both."
Targeted web ads will reach Facebook employees on LinkedIn and cell phone banner ads will display on phones near Facebook's headquarters.
On its website, Demand Justice called on supporters to sign a petition condemning Facebook for sponsoring the Federalist Society's "celebration of Kavanaugh and attack on the dignity of survivors."
"Facebook's unabashed support of the Federalist Society and Brett Kavanaugh sends a clear signal to survivors everywhere—that Facebook is not on their side. Shame on Facebook and shame on Mark Zuckerberg."
—Shaunna Thomas, UltraVioletThe organization's campaign is supported by the women's rights group UltraViolet, which led demonstrations against Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing in 2018.
"It is hardly surprising that Facebook is a major corporate donor to the Federalist Society—an organization dedicated to taking our courts in a radical, right-wing direction," UltraViolet co-founder Shaunna Thomas said in a statement. "But it should terrify everyone that Facebook is actively funding the public rehabilitation of [an accused] serial sexual abuser who should not be serving on the Supreme Court."
"Facebook's unabashed support of the Federalist Society and Brett Kavanaugh sends a clear signal to survivors everywhere—that Facebook is not on their side," she added. "Shame on Facebook and shame on Mark Zuckerberg."
Others on social media also decried Facebook's funding of the dinner.
I will never accept the normalization of this man. Apparently, this is exactly the hill I will die on. https://t.co/rC283xG3tY
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) November 14, 2019
I #BelieveSurvivors, but CAN’T believe that Facebook would sponsor a dinner where Brett Kavanaugh is the keynote speaker? Is this true? Don’t they know the harm he wants to cause, and the harm he’s already caused? Facebook? Really? Now?@TIMESUPNOW https://t.co/xhNRUIMWCa
— Alysia Reiner (@alysiareiner) November 14, 2019
Brett Kavanaugh is an imminent threat to reproductive rights and health care access. But that doesn’t seem to bother FACEBOOK: They’re sponsoring a dinner tonight where he’s the keynote speaker. https://t.co/d3XGZcOmza
— Piper Perabo (@PiperPerabo) November 14, 2019
In Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Demand Justice displayed a mobile ad showing Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh during their testimonies last year, along with the words, "Kavanaugh lied" and "We still believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford."