New Zealand’s biggest media company has joined a growing international boycott of Facebook, trialling a separation from the social media giant.
Stuff, which runs the largest news website and employs the most journalists in New Zealand, told staff of its eye-catching play in an email on Monday.
“Effective immediately, Stuff is trialling ceasing all activity on Facebook-owned networks,” a senior executive wrote.
“This experiment applies to all Facebook pages, groups and Instagram accounts across our entire group.”
Stuff’s reasoning is both ethical and economic.
Facebook has attracted huge criticism for the propagation of inaccurate material, particularly in relation to right-wing materials.
New Zealand has felt that connection deeply, in relation to the Christchurch mosque attacks last year.
The Australian terrorist convicted of 51 murders in the March 15 shooting used Facebook to stream his crimes.
“We stopped advertising on Facebook soon after the Christchurch mosque attacks in Christchurch, as we did not want to contribute financially to a platform that profits from publishing hate speech and violence,” the Stuff email continues.
“The current experiment is in the context of the international Boycott Facebook movement, and applies until further notice.”
Other international companies are taking the same action and leaving the platform, despite its enormous reach.
Stuff has huge followings on the Mark Zuckerberg-led social media sites, with more than 950,000 followers on Facebook and 134,000 followers on Instagram.
In trialling a move away from Facebook, Stuff is also testing the waters as to whether it can maintain its audience without links to the platform.
The move is another bold action from Chief Executive Sinead Boucher.
Ms Boucher led a management buy-out of the company in May, taking ownership of the company from Australian media giants Nine, for $1.
The newly Kiwi-owned business hopes to allow staff to own stakes in the business while attracting new investors.