Civil rights groups call for ‘pause’ on Facebook ads

Technology

FILE – In this July 30, 2019, file photo, the social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple’s App Store in Chicago. On Wednesday, July 17, 2020, Several civil-rights and other advocacy groups are calling on large advertisers to stop Facebook ad campaigns during July 2020 because they say the social network isn’t doing enough to curtail racist and violent content on its platform. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky, File)

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(AP) — Using #StopHateforProfit, several civil rights and other advocacy groups are calling on large advertisers to stop Facebook ad campaigns during July. They say the social network isn’t doing enough to curtail racist and violent content on its platform.

“Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, are no longer simply negligent, but in fact, complacent in the spread of misinformation, despite the irreversible damage to our democracy. Such actions will upend the integrity of our elections as we head into 2020.”

Derrick Johnson
NAACP CEO

The groups say that Facebook amplifies white supremacists, allows posts that incite violence and contain political propaganda and misinformation, and doesn’t stop “bad actors using the platform to do harm.” They want to apply public pressure on Facebook to “stop generating ad revenue from hateful content, provide more support to people who are targets of racism and hate, and to increase safety for private groups on the platform.”

The groups in the #StopHateforProfit campaign, launched Wednesday, include the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Sleeping Giants, Color Of Change, Free Press, and Common Sense.

Facebook did not immediately return a request for comment.

Big tech companies have famously struggled to manage and moderate the flood of content users put on their platforms every day. Facebook’s employees recently publicly criticized Zuckerberg for deciding to leave up posts by President Donald Trump that suggested police-brutality protesters in Minneapolis could be shot.

As it faces criticism for its policy of allowing politicians to post false information, including about voting, the company is launching an effort to boost U.S. voter turnout.

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