Canadian companies join the boycott of Facebook

Des sociétés canadiennes se joignent au boycottage de Facebook

Photo: Jonathan Hayward, The canadian Press
The boycott at MEC entered into force on 25 June, the date to which the company has removed its content and its paid advertisements from Facebook and Instagram until the end of July.

Canadian companies have joined a growing list of large international brands promising not to advertise on Facebook in July due to the company’s refusal to tackle the spread of hate content on its platform.

The companies of sports clothing from Vancouver’s Lululemon Athletica, Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) and Arc’teryx pulling their paid advertisements from Facebook and join a boycott, which is already supported by Coca-Cola, Unilever, Honda America, Patagonia and other companies.

The advocates of the boycott #StopHateForProfit — led groups of civil rights, including the Anti-Defamation League states) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (national Association for the advancement of colored people) — believe that Facebook has not done enough to prevent the content that is racist, wrong and dangerous, or the white supremacist, ending up on its platform.

They are also disappointed that the social network has allowed its users to call for violence against the protesters fighting for racial justice in the wake of the death of several Black americans.

The boycott at MEC entered into force on 25 June, the date to which the company has removed its content and its paid advertisements from Facebook and Instagram until the end of July.

The company said it wanted to ” raise awareness of the racist content and disinformation harmful that are shared on these social networks “.

“We urge Facebook to strengthen its policies on content moderation and apply them in a consistent manner,” said GUY in an e-mailed statement to The canadian Press.

Lululemon, for its part, has announced its support to #StopHateForProfit Saturday, in a message on Twitter, saying : “We believe that we all have the responsibility to create a society that is truly inclusive and we are committed to actively dialogue with Facebook to find a significant change. “

In his messages on Twitter supporting the boycott, Arc’teryx has argued that the benefits of Facebook ” will never be the promotion of hatred, bigotry, racism, anti-semitism and violence “.

Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, and also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, said in a press release that it was investing billions of dollars each year to ensure the safety of his community and worked constantly with external experts to review and update its policies.

The company has indicated will be open to an audit of civil rights and have banned 250 organizations supremacist white of Facebook and Instagram.

“The investments we have made in artificial intelligence are such that we find almost 90 % of the hate speech before the users of the report, while a recent european report has revealed that Facebook had dealt with in 24 hours of reports of hate speech, Twitter and YouTube,” stated the social network in an e-mail.

“We know that we still have work to do, and we will continue to work with advocacy groups, civil rights, the Global Alliance for Responsible Media [world Alliance for responsible media] and other experts in order to develop even more tools, technologies, and policies to continue this fight. “

Declines in the value of Facebook

The boycott is important because advertising revenues have generated approximately $ 69,66 (US $billion) for Facebook last year, and are the most important source of income of the company, according to the research firm Statista.

The concerns related to the moderation of content have long persisted in the company, which has often landed in the crosshairs of the regulators, because she has difficulties balancing freedom of expression and its responsibility to protect the users of Facebook.

Although Facebook is a valuable tool for companies in search of clicks and customers ready to dig in their portfolio, the sanctioned party the night away in the company of social media to the brands that are moving away, said Joanne McNeish, assistant professor of marketing at Ryerson University.

Many brands are no longer as dependent on Facebook as they once were, because they had understood that Instagram was more valuable to attract young customers, and because Facebook has lost some of its advertising capabilities more targeted since the data of up to 50 million users of Facebook have been misused by the firm of data Cambridge Analytica.

“Advertisers have a variety of different platforms, depending on the target group sought by the company, but at this time, no one talks of boycotting Instagram “, stressed Ms. McNeish. “They don’t do that boycott Facebook, and it’s a very traditional to a boycott in the sense that they attack the market leader. “

After that brands such as Verizon, Eddie Bauer, Levi Strauss & Co. and Mozilla have withdrawn their ads from the platform, the action of Facebook has slipped from 8.3% to 216,08 US $on Friday, recording its biggest drop in three months.

The title has bounced back somewhat Monday afternoon after having dropped in the exchanges of the morning, winner 4,56 US $220,64 US$.

The fall has wiped out $ 56 billion US $of the market value of Facebook, and US $7.2 billion of the net worth of its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

The index Bloomberg Billionaires now estimates that Mr. Zuckerberg is worth of 82.3 billion US $and that it is the fourth richest person after Jeff Bezos of the co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, and the patron of the empire of luxury Louis Vutton Moet Hennessy, Bernard Arnault.

However, Mrs. McNeish don’t think that this setback will weigh a lot on Facebook or Mr. Zuckerberg.

“Mark Zuckerberg has a long tradition of not really caring what people think “, she said.

“It is a huge organization, it can take a large blow and still be profitable and continue to operate. “

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