Credo Action

Tell Mark Zuckerberg to stop censoring human rights documentation on Facebook

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The petition to Mark Zuckerberg reads:

"Clarify and make publicly available Facebook’s policies on removing video and other content, especially human rights documentation, at the request of government agencies.”

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    Tell Mark Zuckerberg to stop censoring human rights documentation on Facebook

    It’s time to put a stop to Facebook’s blatant censorship of user content that depicts police violence against communities of color.

    By repeatedly removing Black activists’ posts1 recording police brutality, often at the request of law enforcement, Facebook is allowing government agencies to violate its users’ constitutionally protected rights to protest and speak out against racism and police violence. We can’t let Facebook continue to silence journalists and activists, especially ones who are documenting state violence against Black and Brown communities.

    Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has the power to clarify Facebook’s policy on removing video and other content. Speak out now to demand that he put clear and publicly accessible censorship policies in place to protect First Amendment activities on Facebook.

    Tell Mark Zuckerberg: Stop censoring human rights documentation on Facebook.

    Facebook is now the dominant channel for online news distribution in the world, with more than 1.5 billion users. A single algorithm tweak can shape the way stories are told by determining what narratives are seen by the public and which are censored.2 Facebook’s censorship of content posted by Black and Brown activists and journalists documenting instances of police brutality hurts communities of color by robbing them of their ability to tell their own stories and hold law enforcement agencies accountable for their historic use of racist and discriminatory policing practices.

    In August, at the request of the Baltimore County Police Department, Facebook deactivated 23-year old Korryn Gaines' account in the middle of her broadcast of a standoff with police at her apartment that ended in her death.3 When Facebook deactivated Gaines’ account, it swept her story under the rug and gave law enforcement the power to shape the media narrative about her death. We can’t let Facebook give government agencies the ability to obscure stories about police violence against communities of color.

    Tell Mark Zuckerberg: Stop censoring human rights documentation on Facebook.

    Facebook is trying to put human rights at the center of its public-facing image. It promotes the safety check-in feature and profile solidarity filters during natural disasters, terrorist attacks and tragic mass shootings.

    However, Facebook’s repeated silencing of Black and Brown activists attempting to make their stories and struggles known proves otherwise. That’s why we’re partnering with our friends at 18MillionRising, Center for Media Justice, Corporate Accountability International, Courage Campaign, Daily Kos, Demand Progress, Free Press, People Demanding Action, People's Action, Presente.org and SierraRise to urge Facebook to:

    1. Refuse to disclose customer content and data to third-party agencies unless required to by law.
    2. Make policies about how it makes decisions to censor content clear and accessible to the public.
    3. Create a public appeals platform where users can appeal content censored by Facebook.
    4. Undergo an external audit on the equity and human rights outcomes of Facebook Live, content censorship and data sharing policies. And institute a task force for implementing the recommendations of the audit.

    Recently, Zuckerberg said Facebook is not a media platform, and it would never become one.4 But millions of people rely on Facebook as their primary news source. It’s time for Facebook to step up and put clear policies in place that protect the rights of users who are speaking out against racism and police brutality on its platform.

    Tell Mark Zuckerberg: Stop censoring human rights documentation on Facebook.

    Thanks for fighting to defend our civil liberties.

    References

    1. Timothy Karr, “How Censoring Facebook Affects the Fight for Black Lives,” The Root, Aug. 29, 2016.
    2. Mathew Ingram, “Facebook Traffic to U.S. News Sites Has Fallen by Double Digits, Report Says,” Fortune, Aug. 16, 2016.
    3. Baynard Woods, “Facebook deactivated Korryn Gaines' account during standoff, police say,” The Guardian, Aug. 3, 2016.
    4. Giulia Segreti, “Facebook CEO says group will not become a media company,” Reuters, Aug. 29, 2016.