Uplift suspends Facebook ad spend

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Activist platform joins Stop Hate for Profit movement

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20 August 2020 | 0

Social activism platform Uplift is to stop spending money on Facebook advertisements as the social network struggles to remove disinformation and hate speech.

Uplift is Ireland’s largest campaigning community with 278,000 members. Its current petitions include joining a global statement of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and protection for former employees of UK retail chain Debenhams.

“We’ve listened to the promises, read the carefully crafted statements, watched the testimonies given at expert committees, heard about the investigations and special ‘teams being set up’, all trying to convince us all that they are ‘going to do better’ to stop the abuse and sharing of hate content. It’s classic behaviour from a huge corporation that wants to avoid accountability through ‘regulating’ themselves,” wrote Uplift director Siobhan O’Donoghue in a statement.

 

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“Tech giants often frame these conversations as too complex for the ordinary social media user or even our Government and regulators. But when we allow them to take this ground, we give them permission to make all the rules about our safety when we come together in community online. We end up handing over our power to people who do not have our best interests at heart. That’s why the Uplift community doesn’t think tech giants should be making the rules by themselves anymore.”

A recent civil rights audit by an indepdent body called Facebook’s response to civil rights issues as “too reactive and piecemeal”.

More than 1,100 companies, and 100 non-profit organisations have lent their support to Stop Hate for Profit, including NAACP, Mozilla, Diageo, Pfizer and SAP.

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