Press Release

"Stop Hate for Profit" To Hold Week of Action Demanding Facebook Make Meaningful Changes to Address Hate and Protect Democracy

Week of Action Includes a 24-Hour Instagram “Freeze” and Culminates with Call to Protect Our Democracy

New York, NY, September 14, 2020 ... Members of the Stop Hate for Profit coalition and its network of thousands of supporters across the country will be joining in a coordinated week of action on Instagram this week, demanding parent company Facebook take action to address racism, hate, and disinformation on its platforms.

The actions include a one-day freeze on Instagram sharing as well as a weeklong series of posts, starting today, calling out Facebook for its role in inciting violence, spreading racism and hate, and contributing to electoral disinformation. Members of the public, corporations, nonprofits and social influencers are expected to join in the effort.

The week of action is the latest effort by the Stop Hate for Profit coalition, led by nine civil rights and advocacy organizations: ADL (Anti-Defamation League), Color of Change, Common Sense, Free Press, LULAC, Mozilla, NAACP, National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) and Sleeping Giants. This week of action is supported by Sacha Baron Cohen, recipient of the 2019 ADL International Leadership Award. The action comes just two weeks after the death of protestors at a Black Lives Matter rally in Kenosha, Wisconsin, which occurred after violent militia groups, including the Kenosha Guard, used Facebook to call for their followers to incite violence.

“Facebook wants you to believe that the company’s role in the death of the protestors in Kenosha was just an ‘operational mistake.’ But it wasn’t. It is just the latest casualty of Facebook’s choices designed to maximize profits,” the coalition said in a statement. “Our organizations as well as other experts have been warning Facebook for years about the problem of dangerous, potentially violent groups and individuals using Facebook. But time and time again they’ve failed to listen.”

The Instagram freeze is the latest salvo in #StopHateforProfit, an online campaign launched in July to address the scourge of racism, hate and disinformation on social media. The campaign’s first tactic was to call on companies to pause advertising on Facebook in the month of July to protest Facebook’s policies and practices. Over 1,200 companies stepped up, including some of the most well-known brands in the world, such as Unilever, Verizon, Adidas, Ford, Patagonia and many more.

In response to Facebook’s continued role in undermining democracy and sowing division, individuals will be asked to freeze Instagram for a day and post a series of coordinated messages in unison on their social media accounts this week.

They will demonstrate solidarity with #StopHateforProfit by freezing their Instagram account for one day on Wednesday, Sept. 16. Throughout the week, the participants will post a unique message each day, focusing attention on Facebook’s failures and highlighting a list of steps the social media giant could take to finally address hate and protect the election.

As we approach possibly the most consequential election in American history, the coalition demands that Facebook adopt the following changes in time for the U.S. presidential election:

Racism, Violence and Hate

  • Take down groups focused on white supremacy, militia, hate, and violent conspiracies;
  • Increase resources focused on monitoring groups for hate speech and violence;
  • Change platform policy to forbid any event page with a call to arms, as highlighted by Muslim Advocates and the Change the Terms coalition; and
  • Commit 5% of their annual revenue to an independently administered fund to support initiatives, academics and organizations doing the work to fight against racism, hate and division caused by Facebook’s inaction

Election Misinformation

  • Ensure accuracy in political and voting matters by eliminating the politician exemption;
  • Remove misinformation related to voting that has been debunked by credible fact checkers;
  • Prohibit calls to violence by politicians in any format.

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