Labour boycotts Facebook for a month over race content

Labour boycotts Facebook for a month over race content

July 12, 2020

Labour boycotts Facebook for a month over failure to remove racist and conspiracy theory content after death of George Floyd

  • Labour has imposed a month-long boycott on Facebook over hate speech row
  • No advertising placed on the site in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests 
  • Sir Keir Starmer has ‘taken the knee’ to demonstrate support for the movement  

Labour is boycotting Facebook for a month in protest at its failure to remove racist and conspiracy theory content after the death of George Floyd, it was revealed today.

The party has dropped all advertising in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, saying it has a ‘duty to stop the spread of hate’.

It is the latest Labour symbol of solidarity with the demonstrations that have spread around the world since the notorious killing in Minneapolis.

Sir Keir Starmer and deputy Angela Rayner have been photographed ‘taking the knee’, despite Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab both making clear they will not engage in the ‘gesture’.  

Labour is boycotting Facebook for a month in protest at its failure to remove racist and conspiracy theory content after the death of George Floyd

According to the Sunday Times, staff were told in an email last week: ‘This is a complete boycott, meaning we can’t use Facebook to advertise anything at all and can’t use it to boost posts.’

It added: ‘Social channels are a powerful place for us to get our message across. But they also have a duty in stopping the spread of hate.’

Labour has spent over £1.2million on advertising on Facebook since 2018, most of which went on campaigning for the December general election.

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves told Sky News’ Ridge on Sunday that the party wanted to to ‘put pressure on Facebook to do the right things and take tougher action on hate crime and hate speech’.

‘All MPs in the Labour Party use Facebook to get across our message,’ she said.

‘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.’

Sir Keir and deputy Angela Rayner have been photographed ‘taking the knee’ (pictured), despite Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab both making clear they will not engage in the ‘gesture’ 

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