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Color Of Change Responds to Facebook’s Civil Rights Update: Do Better

Color Of Change

For Immediate Release: December 18, 2018

Media Contact: Michelle Morris, michelle.morris@berlinrosen.com, 646.200.5307 | Kwame Belle, kwame.belle@berlinrosen.com, 646.517.6796

 

We’re pleased Facebook met their commitment to Color Of Change and published an update before the end of the year. We thank Laura Murphy for her work and know she can be even more effective with the full support of the entire Facebook executive team.

However, Black users, employees, and communities have demanded real solutions and changes to their platform for years. In response to Color Of Change’s pressure for a public progress report on the civil rights audit, Facebook issued this report, which is long on excuses and short on meaningful progress.

It is not enough to merely identify the many challenges that we have explained to Facebook. It is hard to take seriously a paper-thin promise without a timeline, benchmarks, or accountability mechanism, especially when made just weeks after we learned Facebook leadership was actively working to undermine Color Of Change, civil rights organizations, and the audit process. Every member of Facebook’s executive team should be just as focused on ensuring the safety of users as they are on maximizing profits for shareholders.  

Our safety and democracy continue to be treated like a PR crisis instead of a systemic and operational failure. We continue to demand the following:

  1. A C-Suite level Chief User Advocate charged with representing users’ needs who will work in close consultation with civil rights organizations;
  2. A public review of practices and mechanisms put in place by Facebook to address civil rights violations and increase public transparency;
  3. A public report with recommendations and a timeline for implementation shared upon conclusion of the review;
  4. The creation of a public-facing board committee or task force that is provided with the resources and commitment by leadership at the highest levels necessary to ensure full implementation of the report’s recommendations.
  5. Facebook must release all documents produced by Definers Public Affairs and any other consultant firms used in the campaign to undermine the credibility of Color Of Change and other civil rights organizations.

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