The president and CEO of the NAACP is ready for a long-haul battle with Facebook. In an interview with The Post, Derrick Johnson said he and other civil rights organizers will keep up the heat on the social network until it makes concrete changes to help curb misinformation and hate speech on its platform. Johnson, …
The president and CEO of the NAACP is ready for a long-haul battle with Facebook.
In an interview with The Post, Derrick Johnson said he and other civil rights organizers will keep up the heat on the social network until it makes concrete changes to help curb misinformation and hate speech on its platform.
Johnson, who met with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday to discuss a monthlong advertiser boycott that has attracted more than 400 advertisers including Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Microsoft, said the company does plenty of talking but makes few concrete decisions.
“They’re very nice people to meet with, but we’re seeing no action,” Johnson said. “The only thing that will show whether or not they’re sincere in their efforts will be outcomes, not words.”
He said that Facebook “has allowed their platform to be used to spread discrimination and racial hatred” and that reassurances from Zuckerberg and other leaders at the company that it is working to address the issues don’t inspire much confidence.
“It puts our elections at risk, it puts our democracy in question, and it undermines who we are as a nation,” Johnson said of Facebook not fact-checking posts from politicians.
A two-year independent civil rights audit released Wednesday and paid for by Facebook concluded that the company’s approach to civil rights issues “remains too reactive and piecemeal,” adding that the social network can be “weaponized to suppress voting.”
“Facebook is lacking in their responsibility to protect people and communities and to protect our democracy,” Johnson told The Post. “We need them to be proactive and not react after harm and injury has been incurred.”
Though some advertisers have committed to suspend their spending on Facebook indefinitely or through the end of the year, others are only committed through the end of July. Johnson said that the group appreciated any and all support from the corporate community.
“We’re going to keep fighting whether corporations stand with us, whether corporations pivot away,” he said. “But it’s our mission as an organization to protect the communities we represent and we will continue to do that.”