Scotiabank and RBC have joined the growing list of companies that announced their intention to end Facebook advertising in July due to the social media giant’s failure to prevent the spread of hate content. On Wednesday, the two banks confirmed their intention to temporarily suspend advertising on Facebook platforms for the month of July.
“This decision was made based on our beliefs and our fundamental practices of creating inclusive environments for our employees, customers, shareholders and communities,” said a Scotiabank spokesperson in an emailed statement to CTVNews.ca.
AJ Goodman, RBC spokesperson, said the bank “believes that widespread systemic racism has disadvantaged blacks, indigenous people and people of color (BIPOC) by greatly hampering their ability to compete equally in opportunities for economic and social progress ”. He added that RBC’s goal is to help clients thrive and make communities thrive and, to achieve this, they must work to eliminate systemic racism and unconscious bias.
“One way to do this is to oppose disinformation and hate speech, which only makes systemic racism more widespread,” said Goodman in a statement on Wednesday. “In response to recent events, effective July 1, RBC will pause all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram for the month of July.”
Banks are only the latest in a long list of international brands participating in the boycott as part of the #StopHateForProfit campaign, led by civil rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the National Association for the Promotion of People of Color.
The coalition of groups accused Facebook of repeatedly “not significantly addressing the vast proliferation of hatred on its platforms” when it called on businesses earlier this month to boycott the platform for the month of July.
Other Canadian companies that have joined the boycott include Lululemon Athletica, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Arc’teryx and Moosehead Breweries.
International brands participating in the campaign include Coca-Cola, Ben & Jerry’s, Eddie Bauer, Hershey, Honda and Patagonia.
CTVNews.ca has contacted other major Canadian banks to find out if they will follow suit, but had no response at the time of publication.
With files from The Canadian Press