Canada’s biggest banks boycott Facebook platforms over hate speech

*Indicate they will pause advertising on Facebook July

*Over 400 brands have pulled advertising on platform in response to ‘Stop Hate for Profit’ campaign

Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

Canada’s biggest lenders (banks) have confirmed that they had joined a widespread boycott of Facebook Inc. (FB.O) begun by the United States (US) civil rights groups seeking to pressure the world’s largest social media platform to take concrete steps to block hate speech on its channel.

Agency report says that more than 400 brands have pulled advertising on Facebook in response to the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign, begun after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

Canadian top lenders, including the Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO), Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO), National Bank of Canada (NA.TO) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO), Friday, July 3, 2020, all said they would pause advertising on Facebook platforms July.

Desjardins Group, Canada’s largest federation of credit unions, also said on its Web site Thursday that it would pause advertising on Facebook and Instagram for the said month “barring any exceptional situations where we need to communicate with our members or clients.”

Most of the concerned financial institutions have cited their commitments to inclusion and diversity for the decision, reports Reuters.

Facebook has opened itself up to a civil rights audit and has banned 250 white supremacist organisations from Facebook and Instagram, a spokesman said by email. According to him, its investments in artificial intelligence mean it finds nearly 90% of hate speech it takes action on before users report it.

Bank of Montreal stated that it is continuing its “ongoing dialogue with Facebook on changes they can make to their platforms to reduce the spread of hate speech.”

One way to help clients and communities is to stand against “misinformation and hate speech, which only make systemic racism more pervasive,” said RBC.

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