Shomporko Desk:- All five of Canada’s biggest banks are joining a global boycott of Facebook over issues that the platform is complicit in promoting racism, violence and misinformation.
Scotiabank, RBC, CIBC, BMO and TD have pledged to stop getting ads on the site for the month, aligning themselves with brands such as Lululemon Athletica and Mountain Equipment Co-op in signing onto the StopHateForProfit campaign.
The initiative, led by organizations like the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, started because of growing anti-Semitic and anti-Black rhetoric found on the social media platform.
Participating brands will suspend all advertising on the platform for the month of July.
Scotiabank announced its intentions on Tuesday, while the four other banks confirmed on Wednesday that they would follow suit.
A spokesperson for RBC said the company understands that systemic racism has disadvantaged Black people, Indigenous people and people of colour and the bank intends to combat that.
“One way we can do that is by standing against misinformation and hate speech, which only make systemic racism more pervasive,” AJ Goodman said.
Facebook has come under fire in recent months for what critics say is indifference when it comes to policing their platform for individuals and groups espousing hateful ideology.
They’ve also been criticized for a lack of action on disinformation.
However, after numerous brands began pulling advertising from the platform, the company reversed its decision at the end of June and began taking down some political posts deemed to be fake or misleading.
At the beginning of June — shortly after Trump threatened via social media to order the military to shoot anti-racism protesters — hundreds of Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout to protest the company’s refusal to label the post as hate speech.
A spokesperson for Facebook noted that the company has suspended more than 250 white supremacist groups from the platform, but did not specifically comment on the boycott.
More recently, the advocacy group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting called on the federal government to stop hosting its virtual Canada Day celebration on Facebook.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File
News source: The Canadian Press