Companies Cut Ties to the N.R.A., but Find There Is No Neutral Ground

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from The New York Times,

Within hours of announcing its decision to end a credit card relationship with the National Rifle Association, the First National Bank of Omaha found itself thrust into the center of the resurgent national gun debate.

Its Twitter and Facebook pages were flooded with comments. Some customers applauded the 160-year-old bank’s decision. Others said they would take their business elsewhere.

In the aftermath of the deadly school shooting in Florida last week, businesses were making the same financial and moral calculus, quickly discovering that there is no neutral ground. As pressure mounted across various social media platforms on Friday, a number of corporations, including several car-rental companies, MetLife insurance, Symantec security software and the car pricing and information site TrueCar, abruptly announced plans to cut ties with the organization.

The actions continued on Saturday. Delta and United Airlines both issued statements saying they were ending discount programs with the N.R.A. and would ask the association to remove their information from its website.

For companies like MetLife that are caught in the middle of these angry social media storms, actions tied to divisive social issues can be a lose-lose proposition. A year ago, Nordstrom first faced calls for a consumer boycott because it carried the Ivanka Trump line of clothing. But it quickly drew another round of boycott cries from the other side of the ideological spectrum when it quietly stopped selling her products.

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