Four of Canada’s five biggest banks are joining an international boycott of Facebook over concerns that the platform is complicit in promoting racism, violence and misinformation.
Scotiabank, RBC, CIBC and BMO have pledged to stop purchasing ads on the site for the month, aligning themselves with brands such as Lululemon and MEC in signing onto the #StopHateForProfit campaign.
The initiative, spearheaded by organizations like the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, began in response to 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 RBC, CIBC and BMO confirmed to The Canadian Press on Wednesday that they would follow suit.
“RBC believes widespread, systemic racism has disadvantaged Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) by significantly impeding their ability to compete equally in opportunities for economic and social advancement,” RBC spokesman AJ Goodman told The Canadian Press.
“One way we can do that is by standing against misinformation and hate speech, which only make systemic racism more pervasive.”
TD had yet to comment on the matter by Wednesday afternoon.
Facebook has come under fire in recent months for what critics say is an 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.
For instance, last month, U.S. President Donald Trump posted a doctored video featuring fake CNN footage on both his Twitter and Facebook accounts, in which a CNN logo appears over footage of a Black toddler running away from a white toddler.
The footage is then followed by another clip from a different angle — this time without the CNN watermark — in which it becomes clear the two toddlers are friends.
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