The NAACP is calling for a week-long boycott of Facebook and Instagram (which the company owns) following a recent report detailing how Russians sought to dilute and confuse African-American voters using the social media site.
The organization, which promotes “equality of rights of all persons” according to its website, made the call to action on Tuesday to draw attention to the fact that Russian bot farms sought to undermine, confuse, and dilute the African-American vote through social media campaigns during the 2016 election as part of a broader effort to help now-President Donald Trump win the race against his Democratic Party opponent Hillary Clinton.
A set of reports which came out on Sunday detailed how Russians, posing as Americans on several social media sites, “created an expansive cross-platform media mirage targeting the Black community, which shared and cross-promoted authentic Black media to create an immersive influence ecosystem,” according to reporting from ABC News.
Per previous reporting from Inquisitr, Russians, using memes, shared posts, and other methods, tried to confuse and dissuade African-American voters from turning out to vote for Clinton. Although Russians didn’t solely target users of one demographic in its pursuit to interfere with the election on the social media site, the latest revelation is just another example of how Facebook has failed the black community, the NAACP suggested.
The @NAACP called for a week-long boycott of @Facebook starting Tuesday, saying the company’s business practices — and the spread of “disingenuous portrayals of the AA community” on its site — should prompt further congressional investigation." https://t.co/dofYcLkLbd
— Amy Siskind ????️???? (@Amy_Siskind) December 18, 2018
There are other reasons that justify the boycott, the NAACP said on its web page promoting the call to action. They cite, for example, data breaches that came about when Cambridge Analytica obtained through illicit means the detailed information of millions of users. The NAACP also pointed out its concerns over unfair advertising practices that discriminate against people of color when it comes to housing ads.
“Facebook’s engagement with partisan firms, its targeting of political opponents, the spread misinformation and the utilization of Facebook for propaganda promoting disingenuous portrayals of the African American community is reprehensible,” the organization wrote on its site.
The NAACP also announced it’s putting its money where its mouth is. Facebook made a sizable donation to the organization, but the NAACP has said that it has returned the donation, which it will not accept in light of these circumstances.
The boycott starts today and will last for a week, the organization said. The group is using a #LogOutFacebook hashtag to promote its message online and on other social media sites, according to reporting from Tech Crunch.