Ben & Jerry's, the Sierra Club and several organizations and celebrities are supporting the #LogOutFacebook movement led by the NAACP.
According to a statement issued by the NAACP, the weeklong protest, which started Tuesday, encourages users to log out as "a way to signify to Facebook that the data and privacy of its users of color matter more than its corporate interests." The boycott comes after the release Monday of the latest Senate report that found Russians targeted black American communities with ads to influence voting in the 2016 elections.
In response, Facebook announced Tuesday that since May it has been undergoing a civil rights audit. In a blog post, COO Sheryl Sandberg said that Facebook is “committed to working with leading U.S. civil rights organizations to strengthen and advance civil rights on our service."
"They’ve raised a number of important concerns, and I’m grateful for their candor and guidance,” said Sandberg. "We know that we need to do more: to listen, look deeper and take action to respect fundamental rights." Sandberg also wrote that Facebook is taking the findings compiled for the Senate Intelligence Committee seriously.
One of the reports compiled for the Senate committee found that Instagram played a substantial role for Russians as they sought to target black Americans with disinformation and conspiracy theories. The report also found the Russian propaganda operation called the Internet Research Agency targeted black Americans in an effort to boost President Trump and the Republican Party.
In its statement, NAACP said, “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.”
The NAACP is calling on Congress to conduct further investigations. The Rev. Amos Brown, president of the San Francisco chapter of the NAACP, said the weeklong blackout is just the first step.
"This first action is strategic," said Brown. "We have to hold these tech companies responsible. Until they change, we have to say we will not support Facebook."