“Digicel to pull paid advertising on Facebook in July”

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Kingston - Digicel announced today it will cease all paid advertising activities on Facebook platforms globally in July, as the company takes a stand against hate speech online.

The telecommunications company will also make a US$30 000 donation to a rights group in Jamaica.

“The move is in solidarity with a number of leading global brands who have moved to send a strong message to Facebook that enough is enough and force it into affirmative action instead of idly standing by as its platforms are used to spark and spread negative, damaging and violent messaging,” a statement from Digicel said.

Jean-Yves Charlier, Digicel Group CEO, said; “Everything we do across our 31 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and the Pacific is with the aim of helping to create a world where no one gets left behind. And there’s no room in that world for the promotion of hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence.”

“In seeking always to lead with positivity and the spirit of inclusion, proudly today on behalf of our 7 000 wonderfully diverse Digicel employees globally, our customers and our communities, we’re ‘hitting pause on hate’. By standing together with the world’s best companies, our hope is that Facebook will be forced to put people above profits and do the right thing to help build a society where all people are respected and valued equally – as is their basic human right.”

The “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign is organised by the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, and other organisations which are advocating that businesses help them to ‘hit pause on hate’ by pausing their paid advertising activities on Facebook platforms during July.

Digicel said  the company will make a donation of US$30 000 to Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ) to assist in its tireless work to ensure the rights of all Jamaicans; that there is equal opportunity for citizens to realise their full potential and enjoy a sense of wellbeing; and that the culture is enhanced and respect shared.

Shares of Facebook fell nearly three per cent in early trading Monday, before rebounding, after big brands such as Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Hershey's said they would pause spending on the social media platform over concerns about its handling of misinformation and hate speech. (PR/KG)