NZ’s biggest brands pull ads from from Facebook & Google

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SINGAPORE: Today: Some of NZ’s biggest brands have pulled their advertising from Facebook and Google in the past few days, following the Christchurch massacre.

According to several reports (including Campaign Asia-Pacific, which has done a lot of legwork on the regional response to this disaster), ASB Bank, ANZ Bank, TSB, Westpac, Kiwibank, BNZ, Burger King and Lotto NZ, among others, have stopped or are considering suspending advertising on Facebook and Google to demand that the social-media companies do more to stop the spread of hateful content on their platforms. 

Colenso BBDO confirmed to Campaign Asia-Pacific that several of its clients have pulled advertising from Facebook, but declined to comment further.

These moves came in concert with the strong joint statement released earlier this week by ANZA and the Comms Council, demanding action from Facebook & co.

“Facebook says that it is now working ‘directly with the New Zealand police’.”

In an unprecedented move, New Zealand’s largest telco, Spark, said it has been working with internet providers to block access to sites showing the livestream of the attack, according to managing director Simon Moutter.

Contacted for a response to the associations’ comments, Facebook has issued a new blog post from Chris Sonderby, VP and deputy general counsel, explaining that the company is working directly with New Zealand police.

Sonderby added that the livestream was viewed fewer than 200 times and removed “within minutes” of the police contacting Facebook, that no users reported the video during the live broadcast, and that the video was viewed around 4000 times before being removed from Facebook.

“We remain shocked and saddened by this tragedy and are committed to working with leaders in New Zealand, other governments, and across the technology industry to help counter hate speech and the threat of terrorism,” Sonderby said.

“We continue to work around the clock to prevent this content from appearing on our site, using a combination of technology and people.”

Facebook has also been collaborating with industry partners since last week, including the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, which said it has shared “digital fingerprints of more than 800 visually distinct videos related to the attack via our collective database, along with URLs and context on our enforcement approaches”. Source: Campaign Asia-Pacific

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