Facebook Ad Boycott Organisers Ask European Firms to Join StopHateForProfit Campaign

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Organisers of a Facebook advertising boycott said on Thursday the campaign would “not go away” until their concerns were addressed and they would ask advertisers in Europe to join their cause.

The campaign, set up in June by US civil rights groups, aims to pressure the world’s largest social media company to take concrete steps to block hate speech and misinformation from its platform in the wake of George Floyd’s death in May.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has not yet taken the “type of meaningful action that we want to see”, the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign said in a press release, adding that many companies were not ready to return to the platform.

“The global campaign, which includes paid media, will be asking advertisers in Europe to stand with the 1,100 advertisers in the US in the fight against hate and disinformation on Facebook,” a campaign spokesperson said.

It comes as Facebook, and other big tech giants, came under fire on Wednesday at a US congressional hearing for the alleged abuse of market power.

“Some of the most iconic brands in the world” had pulled millions of dollars in advertising from Facebook since the start, the campaign said, adding the movement would continue until Facebook made “reasonable changes”.

Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. His death has sparked worldwide protests against racial inequality and police brutality.

The campaign previously outlined 10 changes it wants, including allowing victims of severe harassment to speak with a Facebook employee and giving refunds to brands whose ads show up next to offensive content that is later removed.

Facebook said earlier in July it was “grateful” to these groups for their “continued engagement.”

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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