Eight major Canadian banks join Facebook ad boycott

Andrew Cummings
July 5, 2020

The top companies involved spent more than US$548 million ($841.5m) on Facebook advertising in the U.S. a year ago, according to a boycott list maintained by the activist group Sleeping Giants and data from the ad analytics firm Pathmatics.

Brand after brand has withdrawn its advertising money from Facebook because of the platform's many problems, but Mark Zuckerberg is unrepentant. Some advertisers are part of an organized boycott demanding the company do more to crack down on hate speech, conspiracies and misinformation on its site on topics such as voting. "We are also reviewing our social media strategy across all markets and platforms, and we will take additional actions as needed to protect our brand and combat hateful content".

The protests against Facebook's hate speech policies has snowballed in the past two weeks, spreading from small brands well known for their activism to enormous spenders such as Unilever and USA drugs company Pfizer. "But as we've said, we make policy changes based on principles, not revenue pressures", the spokesperson said.

Mark Zuckerberg told employees that Facebook is "not gonna change" in response to the growing advertiser boycott over its hate speech policies, The Information reported Wednesday.

The Washington Post reported the meeting would take place Monday.

He said: "My guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough". He pointed to Facebook's get-out-the-vote efforts as evidence of the company's commitment, along with the billions of dollars, tens of thousands of content moderators and other investments it has made in trying to improve its platform.

On Wednesday, Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs and communications, tried to reassure businesses that Facebook "does not benefit from hate" and said the company has every incentive to remove hate speech from its service.

Earlier this month, civil rights groups including the NAACP, Anti-Defamation League, and Colour of Change called for advertisers to boycott Facebook following Zuckerberg's inaction on controversial posts by President Donald Trump suggesting violence against people protesting police brutality and systemic racism. He grew up in Emmett and graduated from the University of Oregon.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.

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