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For Immediate Release: October 9, 2020
Google Takes Action Against Proud Boys’ Use of Cloud Platform Following Pressure from Color Of Change
Leading Racial Justice Organization Demands Tech Companies Take Stronger Action Against Militarized Hate Groups
NATIONWIDE — Color Of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization released the following statement from President Rashad Robinson, in response to Google’s decision to ask a Cloud Services customer to stop hosting the website and online store of violent hate group “Proud Boys” as well as in response to the news that the domestic terrorist group “Wolverine Watchmen” used tech platforms to organize online:
“Google’s recent actions to block the Proud Boys website and online store is a welcome response to persistent demands from Color Of Change and our allies. Following years of pressure, the company successfully got a Google Cloud Services customer hosting the Proud Boys’ website to remove the violent hate group’s online pages. This progress is important, but now we call on Google’s peers to follow suit, and Google must remain vigilant as Proud Boys moves to other website hosts.”
Big Tech companies have the power and resources to take meaningful action, but instead turn to last-minute, knee-jerk reactions that often fail to prevent further violent harm or even death. And too often, these tech companies only act after outside pressure from advocacy groups like Color Of Change. For years, Color Of Change has called for the elimination of white nationalist and far-right extremist hate groups from a range of social media, financial service, and other tech platforms who put their profits above our lives and safety. Through our Blood Money campaign, we have demanded companies like Paypal stop doing business with white supremacist groups, and through our engagement with social media giants like Facebook, called for the removal of pages where hate groups continue to organize and communicate.
Despite this pressure, recent events have illustrated that Facebook and Paypal’s inadequate, passive approaches to oversight are enabling domestic terrorist and hate groups to grow in membership and influence — and that they are willing to profit off of this dangerous activity. Paypal has refused to deplatform a fundraising page in support of the racist shooter who murdered two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Facebook failed to stop the domestic terrorist group Wolverine Watchmen from using their platform to organize a plan to kidnap government officials including Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and instigate a civil war.
Corporations continue to operate from a money-first framework. They put profits and revenue above safeguarding Black people from the threat of violent harm at the hands of hate groups and right-wing domestic terrorist groups. When you allow domestic terrorist groups, right-wing militias, and violent hate groups to recruit, organize, and mobilize on your platform, there is no longer a question of whether your company cares about Black people and other marginalized communities — YOU DON’T.
Tech companies must enact and enforce a proactive, aggressive approach to stop the violent, hateful activity on its platforms— it cannot continue to fall on advocates, as it has for far too long. Anything short of creating the policies and enforcement mechanisms necessary to proactively keep these hate-fueled groups off of tech platforms will only lead to more dangerous outcomes. It is imperative that Congress step up and take action to properly empower and hold accountable regulatory agencies to fulfill their functions. Never has a need for intervention been more apparent or urgent. Void of a proactive approach, our communities will face increased danger from hate-fueled activity on these platforms.”
About Color Of Change:
Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over 7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Visit www.colorofchange.org.