Within hours of Musk taking over Twitter, use of the n-word rose 500%. Hate speech skyrocketed. Musk himself tweeted a baseless conspiracy theory about the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband. He's supported restoring Trump's account. We cannot trust him to protect users from hate, harassment and misinformation. GM and L'Oréal have suspended their advertising. Let's push Disney and Coca-Cola to follow suit!
We can create an Internet where Black people thrive. Check out the Black Tech Agenda — a roadmap for racial equity in tech regulation. Big Tech has chased profits no matter the cos: cyber-bullying, misinformation, real world violence to Brown and Black people. But these 6 principles lay the groundwork for accountability.
Thanks to T-Mobile, conservatives now have the power to ban Black and LGBTQ history from classrooms in Texas. T-Mobile rents its cellular towers and infrastructure to Patriot Mobile, a far-right wireless provider that funded racist school board candidates in Texas. Write to T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert and tell him it's time they #DropPatriotMobile
The cost of groceries has risen 12% in a year. Why? Corporate greed. Tyson Foods, one of the largest food production companies, has artificially increased prices, out-tracking inflation and manufacturing costs to nearly double its profits. This especially hurts Black families. Ask them to roll back prices to pre-pandemic levels.
In Oklahoma, pregnant women are facing felony charges for using prescribed medical marijuana during pregnancy. Even though their babies are born healthy, they're facing possible life sentences. Black, Brown, and poor women bear the brunt of this criminalization.
Twitter Bans Hate Content & Permanently Bars KKK Founder David Duke
After a year of consistent pressure by Color Of Change members, Twitter agreed to a new policy banning hate speech and permanently suspending Ku Klux Klan founder David Duke from the platform. Duke repeatedly violated Twitter’s rules against promoting violence against people based on race, religion, or ethnicity. He used social media to spread his message of white supremacy, regularly insulting and threatening Black people, Jewish people, women, and LGBTQ people. We will continue to work with Twitter to make sure they fully enforce their new “no hateful conduct” rules — to keep hateful rhetoric online from fueling real-world violence and to crack down on misinformation around the upcoming elections and COVID-19.
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#StopHateForProfit Coalition Leads $7B Advertising Boycott Against Facebook
For years, Color Of Change has demanded Facebook stop hate speech, calls to violence, racist lies, and housing discrimination on its platform. We’ve pressed Facebook to do more to protect Black people online and pushed them to release a civil rights audit of their practices. But they continue to put profits above people. So we joined with the NAACP, Anti-Defamation League, and several other justice groups to launch #StopHateForProfit. Together we’ve persuaded more than 200 major corporations to pull $7B in advertising from Facebook during the month of July. And we’re just getting started. With the lies Trump continues to spread about voting fraud, the calls for violence against protestors, and the implications for November’s elections and the pandemic in allowing misinformation to spread, we simply have too much at stake.
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AirBNB Launches Project to Expose & Reign in Discrimination on its Platform
After a year of Color Of Change working with AirBNB to address housing discrimination online, the company has launched Project Lighthouse—an initiative to expose, track, and stop discrimination by people renting or reserving apartments on their site. Its goal is to figure out how names and profile photos create a perception of a person's race, then use that information to develop new features that ensure people of color are treated fairly and equally on AirBNB. The company plans to create a tech team whose job is to fight bias, have hosts confirm reservations before seeing guests’ photos, and recruit more people of color to host. AirBNB also set new benchmarks for increasing the number of people of color on their staff and Board of Directors to boost diversity there.
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Color Of Change helps people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by 7 million members, we move decision makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people, and all people. Until justice is real.
After years of getting next to nowhere with Mark Zuckerberg, rights groups like Color Of Change and the Anti-Defamation League are shifting strategy – turning from corporate engagement toward legislation to stop hate and misinformation on social media. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson says years of conversations haven’t led Facebook to make substantive changes, and there is “nothing worse than to go and beg a billionaire to stop hurting us.” So now advocates are increasingly pushing Congress and the Biden administration to force tech companies to take more aggressive steps to moderate their sites for bigotry, misinformation, voter suppression and discrimination, rather than pleading with the companies.
Alarmed by a wave of bills sweeping state legislatures and a Supreme Court decision many say will dismantle voting rights, Black women are taking courageous steps to fight back. Over four days of collective action, leaders held a town hall, rally, and protest on Capitol Hill. After being arrested and released, some of the women sat down with Vice President Kamala Harris about the “moral” and “spiritual” imperative to protect voting. Rep. Jackson Lee underscored that the filibuster was not part of the Constitution – and instead was created specifically to block equal rights and voting rights as far back as the 1800s. Color Of Change continues to lead a campaign to get rid of the filibuster, which has been invoked time and again to stop laws affirming the rights of Black and Brown people.
Congressman Hank Johnson was arrested with Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson, and Cliff Albright, founder of Black Voters Matter for protesting the Senate’s failure to protect voting rights. Their protests are meant to direct attention to the For the People Act, Democratic legislation blocked by Senate Republicans as GOP lawmakers in a number of states pass a series of voting restrictions. Rashad is quoted, “It was worth the risk to use our power to demand voting rights protections for Black people, and all communities, in our country.” Seven states have passed laws to expand officials’ ability to purge voters from registration rolls or put voters at risk of having their names improperly removed – all swings state where Black people turning out has changed the outcome of elections.
Olympian Gwen Berry says her actions are often misunderstood. Berry believes her intentions are misunderstood. By raising her fist or turning around during the national anthem, she says, “I’m not saying I’m not proud to represent America. If anything, I am being extremely American by stating my rights. By exercising my constitutional right to say, I believe in freedom and justice for us all. I am protesting for America to be good for everybody. And just not for the elite or the white supreme.” After the 2019 Pan American Games, Berry lost her sponsors – and the majority of her salary – for speaking out. Recently, with help from Color of Change, Berry got a $15,000 sponsorship from Puma.
Gwen Berry has a track record of speaking out on injustice. Two summers ago, after winning gold at the 2019 Pan-American Games in Peru, she raised a fist on the podium and was slapped with a yearlong probation for violating international rules that prohibit protests inside stadiums and during ceremonies. It cost Berry her sponsors, including Nike. Color of Change eventually stepped in, pressuring companies to support Berry so she could continue being a professional athlete. Puma recently backed her with a $15,000 paycheck, equipment and apparel, and a campaign called “She Moves Us.” When this year’s Olympic track and field trials kicked off, she greeted the crowd with a raised fist and a t-shirt reading “athlete activist.”
Robert L. Johnson, America’s first Black billionaire, is calling on the federal government to pay reparations, saying over the last 200 years, “Black folks have been denied $13-15 trillion of wealth.” He urged lawmakers to pass a decades-old bill that would set the stage for reparations, HR 40, which would create a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations for descendants of slaves. Color Of Change President Rashad Robinson is quoted. “HR 40, when it’s passed, will not actually provide reparations for anyone, but what it will do is move us on the road to be more truthful and in direct conversation about what happened. We’re also seeing local communities have these conversations.”