All five of Canada’s biggest banks are joining an international boycott of Facebook over concerns that the platform is complicit in promoting racism, violence and misinformation.
Scotiabank, RBC, CIBC, BMO and TD have pledged to stop purchasing ads on the site for the month, aligning themselves with brands such as Lululemon Athletica and Mountain Equipment Co-op in signing onto the StopHateForProfit campaign.
The initiative, spearheaded by organizations like the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League, began in response to growing anti-Semitic and anti-Black rhetoric found on the social media platform.
Participating brands will suspend all advertising on the platform for the month of July.
Scotiabank announced its intentions on Tuesday, while the four other banks confirmed on Wednesday that they would follow suit.
A spokesperson for RBC said the company understands that systemic racism has disadvantaged Black people, Indigenous people and people of colour, and the bank intends to combat that.
“One way we can do that is by standing against misinformation and hate speech, which only make systemic racism more pervasive,” AJ Goodman said.
A spokesperson for Bank of Montreal told CBC News that the bank “will pause its advertising on Facebook and Instagram during the month of July, while continuing our ongoing dialogue with Facebook on changes they can make to their platforms to reduce the spread of hate speech.”
TD said it had also “paused” its advertising for the month and added that the bank is “committed to the fight against racism and hate speech and to the work needed to help create a safer and more inclusive society.”