From Nicole, Accountable Tech <[email protected]>
Subject honks heard ‘round the world
Date February 14, 2022 6:05 PM
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Hey there --

Over the past 3 weeks, truckers have brought Canada’s capital city of Ottawa to a halt in protest of vaccine mandates.

The protests have been especially hard for me and my family in Canada. My aunt who’s a nurse told me about her fellow health care workers fearing for their safety as they try to get to their shifts at hospitals, and even being told to not wear scrubs in public at the risk of being harassed. Journalists have been attacked and threatened by protesters. National monuments have been defaced and desecrated. Bridges have been shut down by protestors—disrupting the supply chain and forcing companies to temporarily shut down in the U.S. and Canada.

So, how did this protest even begin?

What started from a hacked Facebook account has grown into a global anti-vax and far-right movement. Copycat demonstrations are already popping up all around the world with convoys headed to Paris and Brussels right now. See our thread on Twitter that breaks down the origins of the Canadian trucker convoy protest: [[link removed]]

[link removed] [[link removed]]

The Canadian trucker convoy protest was built on Facebook. Like other anti-vax and right-wing movements, Facebook provided a safe haven for these extremists to congregate and organize in Facebook Groups. Amazingly, these first Facebook Groups about the convoy originated from a hacked Facebook account.

Launched just a few weeks ago, these Facebook Groups amassed over 300,000 followers in a matter of days much like the viral growth we saw in Stop the Steal Facebook Groups after the 2020 presidential election. There have been more than 97,000 posts on Facebook on pages and public groups about the trucker convoy, garnering more than 24 million engagements.

It shouldn’t be this easy for a fringe minority to manufacture viral outrage, and disrupt lives and the economy. Nearly two years ago, we spearheaded the call for Facebook to Stop Group Recommendations [[link removed]] , which have served as hidden breeding grounds for disinformation campaigns and organizing platforms for extremists. A past internal Facebook report revealed that “64% of all extremist group joins are due to our recommendation tools.”

We’re going to keep calling out Facebook for their role in facilitating and cultivating these protests, and advocating for meaningful structural reforms to prevent this from happening again. Chip in if you want to help support our work: [[link removed]]

Donate Now [[link removed]]

We’re fighting to restore our information ecosystem. Our global health and democracy depends on our supporters like you.

Thanks for your support,


Nicole Gill
Co-founder & Executive Director
Accountable Tech

We see the irony of asking you to take action on the same platforms we’re fighting to hold accountable, but they are… well… dominant. We have to reach people where they are in order to level the playing field -- and we’re ready to bring the fight right to their own platforms.

We're a small non-profit taking on Big Tech's toxic business model of surveillance advertising. Chip in to support our work:
DONATE NOW [[link removed]]


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