Skip to main content

This article original appeared in The National Post on July 20, 2020.

Just when you thought 2020 had run out of surprises, Facebook pulled off the impossible. Civil liberties groups, grassroots activists, multinational corporations and network operators like my group, the Canadian Internet Regulatory Authority (CIRA), have banded together to boycott the social media giant for its failure to curb the spread of fake news, misinformation and hate speech on its platform.

Born during a global movement focused on racist police violence, the #StopHateForProfit campaign began in mid-June to curb the amplification of hate online. Since then, household-name companies including Coca-Cola and Starbucks joined. Even Canada’s five largest banks have taken a stand.

For our part, we have chosen to cease advertising on any Facebook platform and will reassess our position at the end of July based on the choices Facebook makes in the coming weeks.

From our perspective as the technical operator of mission-critical internet infrastructure, widespread, ubiquitous amplification of hate speech, fake news and misinformation undermines trust online, which in turn hurts the safe, stable and secure functioning of the open internet.

Click here to continue reading in The National Post.

Byron Holland

Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for Internet governance, Byron’s leadership has brought CIRA to the forefront of innovation. At CIRA, Byron has led a wholesale rewrite of the .CA registry and related policies and business rules. Under Byron’s leadership, CIRA has expanded its product and service offerings to Canadians and .CA has become one of the fastest growing country code top-level domains (ccTLD) in the world.

Byron has developed a strong international profile for CIRA and the .CA top-level domain. He is vice-chair of the Country Codes Name Supporting Organization (ccNSO), the body that represents the interests of all country code top-level domains and leads policy development initiatives at ICANN, and is Chair of ICANN’s Customer Standing Committee (CSC). Byron is also an active participant in the United Nations coordinated Internet Governance Forum.

Byron received a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University. He also holds his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

The views expressed in this blog are Byron’s opinions on Internet-related issues, and are not necessarily those of the organization.