A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex reportedly confirmed the news to Harpers Bazaar that the couple are backing the Stop Hate For Profit campaign, which calls for a global boycott of Facebook advertising over the social media platform’s failure to address racist content and misinformation.
‘The Sussexes are throwing their weight behind the movement and have been working to encourage CEOs to stand in solidarity with the coalition of U.S. civil rights groups behind it,’ the publication states.
The news comes after Meghan recently spoke out in support of the Black Lives Movement and volunteered with Harry at a Los Angeles bakery with former gang members to help prepare food for vulnerable members of the community.
The Stop Hate For Profit initiative launched on June 17, with organisers calling on Facebook advertisers to pause advertising spending on Facebook and Instagram for July 2020. They also demanded that the company address racism across all of its platforms.
The president of Colour of Change, Rashad Robinson, tweeted about the royal couple’s support of the initiative over the weekend, writing: ‘I've appreciated the thoughtful conversations I've had with the Duke and Duchess. Even more, I appreciate that they are using their platform to reach out to key corporations and share the goals of the #StopHateForProfit campaign.’
I've appreciated the thoughtful conversations I've had with the Duke and Duchess. Even more, I appreciate that they are using their platform to reach out to key corporations and share the goals of the #StopHateForProfit campaign. https://t.co/8kRLKeSPAJ— Rashad Robinson (@rashadrobinson) June 27, 2020
‘From the monetisation of hate speech to discrimination in their algorithms to the proliferation of voter suppression to the silencing of Black voices, Facebook has refused to take responsibility for hate, bias, and discrimination growing on their platforms,’ a spokesperson for Color of Change explains.
International companies including Coca Cola, Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s have joined the boycott. Bloomberg reports that Facebook already lost $7 billion (£5.6bn) from the reduction of ad sales as a result of the initiative.
The Stop Hate For Profit website states that Facebook ‘allowed incitement to violence against protesters fighting for racial justice in America’ in the wake of deaths including those of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
We will pause all paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram in the US in support of the #StopHateForProfit campaign. Facebook, Inc. must take the clear and unequivocal actions to stop its platform from being used to spread and amplify racism and hate. >>>https://t.co/7OpxtcbDGg pic.twitter.com/I989Uk9V3h— Ben & Jerry's (@benandjerrys) June 23, 2020
It adds: ‘They named Breitbart News a “trusted news source” and made The Daily Caller a “fact checker” despite both publications having records of working with known white nationalists. They turned a blind eye to blatant voter suppression on their platform.’
On Friday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended the firm's history of addressing hate speech and said that the business will attach a label to ‘problematic’ content that falls outside.
The new policy will 'prohibit claims that people from a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status are a threat to the physical safety, health or survival of others'.
It will also remove content if it determines that it incites violence or suppresses voting and will label potentially harmful posts.
This week, the Duchess of Sussex reached out over the phone to Althea Bernstein, a young Black woman from Madison who was allegedly the victim of a horrifying racist hate crime, per the Wisconsin outlet Channel 3000.
Meghan is believed to have also contacted Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County President and CEO Michael Johnson, who has been acting as a rep for Bernstein.
Earlier this year, the couple announced the establishment of their new non-profit organisation Archewell.
According to the Telegraph, Archewell will be an umbrella organisation which plans to include emotional support groups, a multi-media educational network, a wellbeing website and their own charity and volunteer outreach programme.
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