The head of the NAACP called Facebook a significant risk to democracy amid a growing advertising boycott over the social-media giant’s approach to dislike speech.
“They are most likely one of the biggest hazards to democracy that we see,” Derrick Johnson, the civil-rights group’s president and CEO, stated Thursday on MSNBC’s “Early morning Joe.”
“They have fanned the flames of racial hatred and altered the course of our democracy, and they refuse to do anything about it,” Johnson said.
The NAACP is among 6 advocacy groups spearheading the “#StopHateForProfit” project urging companies to halt Facebook marketing for the month of July. Ben & & Jerry’s, Patagonia and Eddie Bauer are among the brand names that have joined the campaign pushing Facebook to stop creating ad earnings from bigoted content.
Johnson slammed Facebook for permitting white supremacists and other hate groups to buy advertisements and for placing those ads alongside brand. Johnson and civil-rights activist Al Sharpton said they consulted with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at his home about their concerns, however they indicated the talks yielded no development.
“This is not simply something that we leapt out there to state,” Sharpton said on MSNBC. “We tried to factor with them and they will refrain from doing it.”
It’s unclear when Johnson and Sharpton’s meeting with Zuckerberg occurred. Facebook did not immediately react to an ask for comment Thursday early morning, but the company has said it’s had conversations with online marketers and civil-rights groups about how to be “a force for excellent.”
Facebook and Zuckerberg have faced backlash in recent weeks over the company’s decision to leave up President Trump’s inflammatory posts about protests against police brutality in Minneapolis. Facebook did get rid of Trump campaign ads recently featuring a red triangle, a sign the Nazis used to mark political prisoners in concentration camps. The Trump campaign claimed the sign is connected to Antifa, a far-left anti-fascist movement, which the president has called a terrorist company.
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