TekSavvy pulls its Facebook ads

Jul 10 • Business, Feature StoryNo Comments on TekSavvy pulls its Facebook ads

Canadian ISP joins #StopHateForProfit campaign

By Bruce Corcoran

Chatham’s TekSavvy has joined the growing list of corporations that have cancelled their advertising this month on Facebook.

Mike Stanford, TekSavvy’s vice-president of marketing, said the Internet service provider wanted to make a statement that they too are not comfortable with the level of monitoring over what some are calling hate speech.

Companies such as Adidas, Ford, Coca Cola and hundreds of others informed Facebook they are boycotting Facebook and Instagram for advertising purposes for the month of July.

Stanford said TekSavvy’s boycott is indefinite.

“We have not been particularly happy with the level of effort we’ve seen from Facebook with how they’ve been policing or monitoring or flagging some of the content that’s available on their platform,” he said. “TekSavvy has joined the Facebook and Instagram advertising boycott as part of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign. We firmly believe in equality and fairness and strongly oppose the spread of hateful content.”

The Stop Hate for Profit campaign has cited certain policy choices by Facebook as the reasoning behind the boycott effort. That included a decision to allow a post by U.S. President Donald Trump that campaign organizers said threatened racial justice protesters with violence.

Stanford said while TekSavvy is a Canadian company and it could look at Trump’s comments as a U.S. issue, Facebook is a global platform, so such comments spread across the world.

“Pressuring Facebook can help bring about the change we’re looking to help make happen,” he said. “It’s a relevant issue. Hopefully Facebook takes notice. If the way to effect change is to hit them in the pocketbooks, then that’s the way to effect change.”

Stanford added TekSavvy officials opted to not put a distinct timeline on their boycott of Facebook and Instagram, which leaves them better flexibility to either keep up the boycott or respond if changes are made.

“We didn’t want to put a timeframe around it. We don’t know how fast Facebook is going to address some of these issues. We wanted flexibility to keep the pressure on,” he said. “The Stop Hate for Profit campaign originally set up for the month of July. Other companies said they will suspend all Facebook and all Instagram advertising until the end of the year.

“We wanted to see what would happen before we return to advertising with them.”

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