Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘help with Facebook “hate speech” boycott with offer to convince brands to ditch ads’ – The Sun

PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle are to "target" brands in support of a high-profile advertising boycott of Facebook, it's been claimed.

A leading figure behind Stop Hate for Profit says they have "jumped on board" by offering to help convince companies to ditch promos on the platform.

The initiative is calling on major brands to pull their advertising from the online giant until it takes action to stop the spread of hate speech.

It was started by US civil rights groups in the wake of the death of George Floyd, to pressure tech companies to act on hate and misinformation.

Harry and Meghan reportedly gave their support for the initiative last weekend calling for the “urgent and pressing need for reform” and “structural changes to the online world”.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have also been in talks with US civil rights groups who started the boycott, reports have claimed.

Now they have asked Jim Steyer – one of the organizers of the boycott –  which brands they could "help target", reports the Times.

Professor Steyer claims the Duke and Duchess of Sussex emailed him to ask what they could do to help.


The academic, who teaches on civil rights and civil liberties at Stanford University, said: "Harry and Meghan, they came to us.

"They endorsed Stop Hate for Profit. They wrote to me saying: 'Which companies can we help target?' They have jumped on board.

"They reached out to us personally and said we want to be part of this movement … they are outspoken advocates of Stop Hate for Profit and we appreciate that."

The organisation is calling for companies to withdraw advertising from Facebook and its sister site Instagram this month.

The drive is an attempt to get the US social media giant to make more of an effort to curb the spread of hate, racism and misinformation on its platforms.

The campaign has already attracted more than 160 big name brands, including Coca-Cola, Levi's, Diageo and Unilever.

SHARE SHOCK

In the wake of multiple adverts being pulled from the site, Facebook shares plunged $55bn.

The organizers include leading US civil rights groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Color of Change and the Anti-Defamation League.

The Duke and Duchess plan to launch a new charitable foundation called Archewell, and a source said that they are keen for it to address online hate, reports The Times

The name is said to originate from the Greek word arche, meaning sources of action, which inspired the name of their son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

Professor Steyer said: "We are gratified that they have spoken out.

"This is a multiracial couple that has dealt with hate speech and racist statements, so the fact they want to be part of the Stop Hate for Profit movement is terrific, and now they are thinking of their own kids."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has promised to act on hate speech and recently posted on his own page announcing sweeping changes.

Companies that have joined Facebook ad boycott

  • Unilever
  • Verizon
  • Eddie Bauer
  • Eileen Fisher
  • Ben & Jerry's
  • Patagonia
  • North Face
  • REI
  • Upwork
  • Rakuten Viber
  • Magnolia Pictures
  • Goodby Silverstein
  • Dove
  • Coca-Cola
  • Dockers
  • Levi’s
  • Honda

He revealed in a live stream: "We will soon start labelling some of the content we leave up because it is deemed newsworthy, so people can know when this is the case.

"We'll allow people to share this content to condemn it, just like we do with other problematic content, because this is an important part of how we discuss what's acceptable in our society – but we'll add a prompt to tell people that the content they're sharing may violate our policies."

Zuckerberg also announced new policies to crack down on hateful language in ads, as well as guidelines on voting information.

He said: "We already restrict certain types of content in ads that we allow in regular posts, but we want to do more to prohibit the kind of divisive and inflammatory language that has been used to sow discord.

"So today we're prohibiting a wider category of hateful content in ads.

"Specifically, we're expanding our ads policy to prohibit claims that people from a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status are a threat to the physical safety, health or survival of others"

"We're also expanding our policies to better protect immigrants, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from ads suggesting these groups are inferior or expressing contempt, dismissal or disgust directed at them."

Since stepping away from life as a senior royal and relocating to the US, Meghan has been a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In a clip released in the wake of George Floyd's death she said: "George Floyd's life mattered and Breonna Taylor's life mattered and Philando Castile's life mattered and Tamir Rice's life mattered."

The Duke and Duchess have declined to comment on the Facebook boycott reports.

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