Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP
Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP (Earl Gibson III/Shutterstock)

NAACP Demands Meeting With Facebook Over Ongoing Prevalence of Hate Speech on the Social Media Platform

Facebook is again under fire for providing an unchecked platform for white supremacists and other hate groups to spread their vile messages.

The Hill’s Cameron Jenkins reported that “the NAACP is reportedly calling for a meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, citing [ongoing] concerns of hate speech on the social media platform.”

According to Jenkins, “the move by the civil rights organization comes after former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen told a Senate subcommittee on Oct. 5 that a study showed the company had only taken action on 3% to 5% of hate speech on the platform.”

In a statement after Haugen’s allegations became public, NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson told BNN Bloomberg, “vaccine hesitation, political violence and white supremacy are rampant [on Facebook.] Profiting on hate and disinformation is sickening and evil.”

Facebook claims Haugen’s information is wrong and only included statistics for hate speech automatically removed by the platform and not content moderated or removed following human review. According to Facebook, hate speech “makes up less than 1% of the content on its platform.”

How much of those records are actually true, however, remains up for debate.

In addition to the damning information on Facebook’s hate speech moderation, Jenkins reported that “Haugen also released thousands of pages of documents revealing internal conversations concerning how the social network moderates the accounts of high-profile users compared to others, as well as the effects that Instagram, which is also owned by Zuckerberg, has on young users.” 

Earlier this year, following similar concerns over hate speech on the social media giant, the NAACP and several other leading civil rights groups organized an ad boycott of Facebook. Their complaint at that time is the same as it is now: despite millions of dollars in earnings, the company simply does not do enough to curb the proliferation of hate speech. Zuckerberg did agree to meet with the organizations following that initial boycott, but there is no word yet if he will agree to the newly requested NAACP meeting.

“We urged Mark Zuckerberg to address these issues over a year ago, but in our meeting, he simply danced around the severity of his company’s failures, showing no interest in taking action,” Johnson said in his statement. “We’ve since experienced an insurrection, election disinformation has brainwashed a significant portion of the country, and COVID-19 falsehoods are spreading as rapidly as new variants are.”

 

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