Color Of Change PAC: Facebook’s Ongoing Failure to Moderate User Groups and Pages Poses Dangerous Threat to Black Voters
Leading Civil Rights Organization Demands Facebook Immediately Enact New Policies to Stop Trump Campaign, Allies From Using Platform to Spread Election Misinformation
NATIONWIDE — In response to Facebook’s failure to quickly identify and block rapidly-growing pro-Trump Facebook groups and pages spreading election misinformation and false accusations of voter fraud, Color Of Change PAC issued the following statement from Executive Director Arisha Hatch:
“Facebook has had four years to prepare for this election, and yet it’s clear the company has utterly failed once again to protect users from dangerous misinformation designed to erase Black votes and destabilize our democracy. Right now, the Trump campaign and its surrogates are using new and existing Facebook groups and event pages to spread election misinformation and false accusations of voter fraud without consequence.
Following pressure from Color Of Change PAC and other advocacy groups, Facebook took down one of the larger groups — but the company acted too late, and the damage has been done. By the time Facebook took the group down, it had grown to 365,000 members and had already directed them to a separate website to sign up for email updates.
This is a coordinated attack by Pro-Trump forces who want to fuel baseless ‘stolen election’ claims in an effort to halt vote counts in crucial battleground states with large populations of Black voters — and Facebook is complicit. Some of these pro-Trump ‘stop the steal’ Facebook groups are tied to Republican operatives, and are growing in size and reach at alarming rates, encouraging its members to take election misinformation and bogus voter fraud allegations from online group pages to the streets — and in some cases include posts calling for an armed response and violence. Some anti-vote count Facebook groups are also new iterations of existing ones initially dedicated to anti-COVID precaution and anti-Black Lives Matter organizing.
All year, Facebook has fueled the spread of these chameleon groups entrenched in misinformation and united in their efforts to harm Black people and take away our votes. Facebook has been enabling and amplifying an extensive infrastructure that’s now being used to attack our democratic process and undermine the election at every turn.
As we’ve seen before, the consequences of Facebook’s failures to moderate and block dangerous groups on its platform have led to real world violence and even death. The stakes could not be higher, yet Facebook has refused to heed repeated warnings from Color Of Change PAC and other civil rights organizations. Months before the election, we flagged the vulnerabilities around Facebook’s Groups product, and the potential for bad actors to take advantage of their lax policies. We demanded specific, new policies to address these vulnerabilities and flaws, including pausing group recommendations entirely until the election results are certified, and demoting the top 100 misinformation super-spreader groups on the platform. Facebook did not implement these changes, and now we are all paying the price. Our election, our democracy, and Black lives are in critical danger.
Color Of Change PAC demands Facebook do more to protect Black people, our civil rights, and the democracy we continue to fight for, starting with a suspension of Trump’s Facebook account until all votes are counted.”
Color Of Change PAC is a Political Action Committee focused on building independent Black political power, amplifying Black voices, electing candidates who share our values, and holding them accountable to our communities. For more information on Color Of Change PAC, visit votingwhileblack.com.
Paid Pol. Adv. paid for by ColorOfChange PAC,
1714 Franklin St., Oakland, CA 94612, independently of and not authorized by any federal, state, or local candidate or candidate’s committee.