A Vancouver Island politician running for leadership of the BC Green Party plans to boycott advertising on a popular social media platform.
Sonia Furstenau, the MLA for Cowichan Valley, announced that her BC Green Party leadership campaign will not be advertising on Facebook this month as part of the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, which calls on the California-based social media company to take greater responsibility for its role in promoting hateful content.
Furstenau joins a lengthy list of corporations and other organizations from around the globe that have announced plans to halt advertising spending on Facebook.
Adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, Best Buy, Boeing, Colgate-Palmolive, Ford, Habitat for Humanity, Honda, Herschel Supply Company, Lululemon, Playstation, Patagonia, Pfizer, Puma, Reebok, SodaStream, Unilever, Mountain Equipment Co-op, and Canada’s big five banks are among those who have announced plans to halt advertisements on Facebook.
Furstenau said in a press release issued earlier this week that social media companies are powerful organizations that must take responsibility for their role in facilitating the spread of hate online.
“Malicious disinformation and content that stokes hatred is eroding democracies worldwide. This is extremely dangerous. We must hold social media companies accountable for their role,” Furstenau said, adding. “As legislators, we need to take a much more proactive role in exploring how we can protect the digital rights of citizens, the vital role that news and information plays in our democracy, and the responsibility we all have to call out hateful content.”
Furstenau is hoping to become the Green Party’s next leader, replacing Andrew Weaver who stepped down from the role earlier this year. She is up against Kim Darwin.
The party leader is expected to be announced in September.