Labour’s Joined the Facebook Advertising Boycott

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The UK Labour party says it’s joining the Facebook advertising boycott organised by Stop Hate For Profit, “in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Speaking to Andrew Marr at the BBC, shadow minister Rachel Reeves commented:

“All MPs in the Labour Party use Facebook to get across our message, but what we’re not doing at the moment is advertising on Facebook.

And that is in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter campaign but also in line with what many businesses are doing this month, which is to express our concerns about the failure of Facebook to take down some hateful material from their platform and take more responsibility for the lies and propaganda that are sometimes put out there on Facebook.

Facebook needs to do more to take responsibility and this is just one way that businesses and the Labour Party and others can put pressure on Facebook to do the right things and take tougher action on hate crime and hate speech.”

Realistically, we’re not convinced the party would have been doing any advertising right now anyway, given that there isn’t an election on. And of course shadow ministers and Labour HQ are still merrily updating their Facebook pages, keeping up the likes, clicks and ad views that provide grist for Facebook’s hateful mill.

UK political parties have spent a lot of money with Facebook ads in the past, notably handing over £3m to Zuck during the 2017 election (of a £40m total spend). But this boycott feels a lot like jumping on the bandwagon at a time when it costs you precisely nothing – like saying “I’ll stop buying Christmas trees” in June. [BBC]

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