Saturday, October 23, 2021

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Team with Civil Rights Groups Calling for Facebook Boycott

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(Nov. 8, 2019 – Source: Chris Jackson Collection)

*Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are reportedly calling on CEOs to temporarily pull their ads from Facebook.

The royal couple are working with the Stop Hate for Profit Campaign, and putting the social media platform on blast for pushing advertisements that contain misinformation, PEOPLE reports. 

As we’ve been developing Archewell, one of the areas The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been keen to address is online hate speech, and we’ve been working with civil rights and racial justice groups on it,” a source tells the publication. .

“Over the past few weeks, in particular, this issue has become even more vital and they have been working to encourage global CEOs to stand in solidarity with a coalition of civil and racial justice groups like the NAACP, Color of Change, and the Anti-Defamation League, which are calling for structural changes to our online world,” the source adds.

The Stop Hate for Profit campaign was announced earlier this month when several civil rights groups took out a full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times. The ad noted that all of Facebook’s profits come from advertising.

“Today, we are asking all businesses to stand in solidarity with our most deeply held American values of freedom, equality and justice and not advertise on Facebook’s services in July,” the ad read. “Let’s send Facebook a powerful message: Your profits will never be worth promoting hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence.”

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Since then, many major companies around the world have joined the boycott, including Coca-Cola, Eileen Fisher, Honda, Levi’s, Patagonia, Verizon, and now Meghan and Harry . 

“For a long time, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been working on how to move the tech industry in a more humane direction,” which includes all of their work in support of mental health, adds a source familiar with their plans.

“Throughout their lives, they have both been driven by an innate need to fight injustice,” the source continues.

Harry and Meghan have “spoken constantly with leaders and advocates” since the police killing of George Floyd last month, the source tells PEOPLE. “A common thread in these conversations was about how online platforms have created the conditions for hatred, bigotry, radicalism, and violence to grow and spread.”

“The Duke and Duchess believe there is an urgent and pressing need to remodel the framework of our online public spaces,” the source continues, adding that the pair “have been working behind the scenes to urge global CEOS in solidarity with civil rights and racial justice leaders.”

“This is their organization in motion,” the source says. “They are committed to dealing with the here and now, the right now, and the long-term.”

On Friday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that upcoming changes to its policy will prohibit hate speech from appearing in ads. 

“I also stand against hate or anything that incites violence or suppresses voting, and we’re committed to removing that content too, no matter where it comes from,” Zuckerberg said in a Livestream, according to CNBC

In response, the Stop Hate for Profit campaign issued a statement, making clear that the “small number of small changes” would barely “make a dent” in the problem.

“We have been down this road before with Facebook. They have made apologies in the past. They have taken meager steps after each catastrophe where their platform played a part,” the statement said. “But this has to end now.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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