WASHINGTON – The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and leading civil rights groups in issuing the following statement 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.”

The following organizations endorse this statement:

  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
  • Color Of Change
  • Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
  • Muslim Advocates
  • NAACP
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
    National Urban League
  • UnidosUS
  • Voto Latino

BACKGROUND

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.

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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.

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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

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