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Canadian companies join growing boycott of Facebook advertising

Canadian companies are joining a growing list of top international brands vowing not to advertise on Facebook Inc. in July because of the company’s refusal to deal with the spread of hateful content on its platform.

Vancouver athletic wear companies Lululemon Athletica Inc., Mountain Equipment Co-op and Arc’teryx and New Brunswick-based Moosehead Breweries are pulling their paid ads from Facebook and joining a boycott that has already been supported by Coca-Cola, Unilever, Honda America, Patagonia and more.

Champions of the #StopHateForProfit boycott — led by civil rights and advocacy groups including the Anti-Defamation League and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People — say Facebook has not done enough to keep racist, false and dangerous content or white supremacists off its platform.

They are also disappointed that the company has allowed users to call for violence against protesters fighting for racial justice in the wake of the deaths of several Black Americans.

MEC’s boycott came into effect on June 25, when it pulled its organic content and paid ads from Facebook and Instagram until the end of July.

The company said it wants to raise “awareness of the harmful, racist content and misinformation that is shared on these social platforms.”

“We ask that Facebook strengthen their content-moderation policies and enforce them consistently,” MEC said in a statement emailed to The Canadian Press.

Lululemon, meanwhile, tweeted its support for #StopHateForProfit on Saturday, saying “We believe we all have a responsibility to create a truly inclusive society and are actively engaging with Facebook to seek meaningful change.”

In its tweets supporting the boycott, Arc’teryx said Facebook profits “will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism and violence.”

Moosehead, which is behind the Moosehead Lager, Cracked Canoe, Alpine Lager and Hop City brands, joined the pledge on Monday afternoon and said it will stop advertising on both Facebook and Instagram.

“As a brewer, we talk a lot about the Canadian values that define us: boldness, independence, strength of character, but also openness, inclusivity and warmth,” Trevor Grant, Moosehead’s vice president of marketing and sales, said in a statement. “More needs to be done to protect those values on the world’s biggest social platforms, and to end hate speech online, and we stand in support of this much-needed change.”

Facebook, which is based in Menlo Park, Calif. and also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, said in a statement that it invests billions of dollars each year to keep its community safe and continuously works with outside experts to review and update its policies.

The company said it has opened itself up to a civil rights audit and banned 250 white supremacist organizations from Facebook and Instagram.

“The investments we have made in…

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