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Viber is discontinuing its partnership with Facebook

Viber messaging service, the fifth largest with more than a billion users worldwide, breaks all ties with Facebook as part of the growing boycott of the company by trading partners.

The campaign was initially launched in the United States after Facebook refused to take action against its posts Donald Trump critics have said they are inciting violence and have now become an international movement.

Viber, which belongs to the Japanese group Rakuten, has the largest markets in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and North Africa, and the company's CEO, Djamel Agaoua, said the move to sever ties was triggered by "Facebook's poor judgment on its role in today's people".

On Wednesday, Viber withdrew all ads from Facebook and Instagram. Now, the company has embarked on an intensive process of removing all Facebook technology from Viber applications.

The company uses many Facebook tools, Agaoua said. Facebook Connect uses the "Connect to Facebook" button, common to applications and websites around the world, while Viber also uses Giphy, a moving search engine gif who bought Facebook in May.

"We know this option will hurt some of our users who want to use its solutions. Facebook Connect to connect. It also affects some of the strategies marketing as they will not be able to use Facebook ads to promote their campaigns. It is not an easy decision. It's not going to kill Viber, but it will definitely affect it, "said Agaoua.

"We are not judges, but the truth is that some people are suffering from the proliferation of violent content and companies need to take a clear stand on that."

Viber's decision came at a time when the boycott advertising campaign launched by the movement has also spread internationally. In the United Kingdom, The North Face and Patagonia will withdraw all ads from the social network for the month of July.

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"Facebook has not taken enough steps to stop the spread of hate speech and dangerous propaganda on its platform for a long time," a Patagonia spokesman said. "In matters such as secure elections, the world pandemic and racial justice, the stakes are too high to allow the company to continue to spread misinformation and cause fear and hatred. "

In addition to viber, the Ben & Jerry's, an ice cream brand known for its strong support in social justice, has also withdrawn its ad from Facebook. However, the UK-based parent company Unilever has said that while it supports Ben & Jerry's move, it has not yet committed to doing so.

"As a global company, our approach has been and will continue to be to work together to identify issues, provide solutions and push for effective action," said a spokesman for Unilever.

"While we have had some success and acknowledged the interventions our partners have made in digital media, such as the establishment of clearer Community standards, integrated usage policies, protocols and third party controls, we know more needs to be done and we are working with partners. to make the change that is needed. "

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