Labour's Facebook boycott an attempt "to hit their bottom line" - Shadow Culture Secretary

12 July 2020, 16:14

By Seán Hickey

The Shadow Culture Secretary said that Labour's boycott on advertising will hopefully convince Facebook to take action against extremism.

Ms Stevens is the Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Labour MP for Cardiff Central.

After Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer announced that the party will no longer advertise on Facebook amid concerns over the platform's attitude towards extremist views, Maajid was making an argument that online platforms have a problem with censoring content from both sides of the political spectrum.

"We don't think Facebook are attentive enough to any kind of extremism" Ms Stevens said, and hoped that the move by Labour would convince the platform to take stronger action. Maajid wondered if the Shadow Culture Secretary was worried about Labour losing a platform.

Ms Stevens said that "it's not a boycott on using Facebook, it's a boycott of spending money on Facebook" and she was confident Labour's platform wouldn't be depleted.

The Labour MP told Maajid that "we can talk all we like about stopping extremism of all forms" but talking will only take you so far. She believed that Labour's move is a wise one in this regard because it is bringing attention to the issue.

Calling on the government to follow suit, Ms Stevens told Maajid that the more political parties that take action, the more powerful the movement will be.

"The only time they take action is when something hits their bottom line" she said, and the loss of revenue from the Labour party should be enough for Facebook to take action.