Monday, January 18, 2021

NAACP Calls for Facebook Protest After Russia Used Social Media to Suppress Black Voters in 2016

*NAACP took to Twitter on Dec. 17 to announce that it has returned a monetary donation recently received from Facebook, and calling on supporters to log out of Facebook and Instagram on December 18 after learning the platform allowed Russians to exploit social media with the goal of suppressing African-American voter turnout in the 2016 election.

“Facebook’s engagement with partisan firms, its targeting of political opponents, the spread of misinformation and the utilization of Facebook for propaganda promoting disingenuous portrayals of the African American community is reprehensible,”  NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement.

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As reported by The Hill, the civil rights organization is kicking off a protest starting Tuesday that encourages users to log out of Facebook and Instagram for a week as “a way to signify to Facebook that the data and privacy of its users of color matter more than its corporate interests.”

The NAACP also wants Congress to conduct thorough investigations into Facebook’s shady practices following the release of a Senate Intelligence Committee report that concluded Russia used IG posts to target Black voters in a suppression campaign. The effort exceeded Russia’s drive to manipulate and influence people through Facebook, The New York Times noted.

“The most prolific I.R.A. efforts on Facebook and Instagram specifically targeted black American communities and appear to have been focused on developing black audiences and recruiting black Americans as assets,” the report said, referring to a Russian propaganda operation, the Internet Research Agency — per The Hill report. 

The report did not explain why Russia went so hard on suppressing African-American voters.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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