On June 29, the Joint Center released a joint statement with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and several other civil rights groups on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s latest policy announcement on hate speech and voter disinformation:
“While we welcome any progress in Facebook’s policies, today’s announcement continues the company’s practice of taking incremental steps while avoiding the core issues that endanger the rights of the communities we represent. This nibbling at the edges represents the company’s ongoing failure to fully appreciate the harmful impact of disinformation on elections and the proliferation of hate speech and violence, particularly for communities of color. Facebook needs to improve and enforce its own policies and stop the weaponization of its platform to suppress the vote, spread hate, and undermine our democracy. This announcement is another stark reflection of the lack of civil rights expertise at Facebook.”
Other signees include Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, Color Of Change, Muslim Advocates, NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Urban League, UnidosUS, and Voto Latino.
As the Leadership Conference noted in their press release, civil rights groups have worked for 3 years to convince Facebook leadership that it must take clear and unequivocal action to address the use of its site to advance voter suppression and to intimidate and incite hate against vulnerable populations. We have also sought to share our expertise with Facebook leadership to guide and inform necessary changes, and we have encouraged the company to create an internal infrastructure of civil rights expertise to inform change.