Letters: Boycott Facebook until it addresses hate speech on its platform

My friend Carol asked if Facebook users would stage a 3-day boycott for its inadequate removal of hate speech. Her request sparked a childhood memory. We met in Catholic school in Butte when I was the “new girl” in third grade. The following year, she told me a classmate taunted her during recess because she was “colored.”

I did not know words like empathy or racism. But I remember feeling a wave of emotions for her and a flash of anger toward the boy that hurled the hurtful words. Carol’s parents were born in the Philippines. Until that day, though, I never noticed she and I were different colors.

Fifty-five years later, people are still being harassed—and murdered—because of the color of their skin. In the wake of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and so many others, sorrow and rage have swept the country. Cries for equity and justice abound.

During the month of July, hundreds of companies have paused advertising on Facebook’s services “to force Mark Zuckerberg to address the effect that Facebook has had on our society.” Anyone can sign a petition at stophateforprofit.org to tell Facebook Enough is Enough. In addition, please add your name to a letter thanking businesses for putting principles above profits.

On July 8, Facebook released the findings of a two-year audit examining its policies. According to its handpicked auditors Laura W. Murphy and Megan Cacace, lawyers and civil rights experts, “Facebook has made policy and enforcement choices that leave our election exposed to interference by the president and others who seek to use misinformation to sow confusion and suppress voting.”

Facebook users, please join a 3-day boycott July 27-29. A #NoHateorDisinformation graphic to use as your profile picture can be downloaded at karenbuley.com/blog. Mark Zuckerberg and the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, and Alphabet’s Google will testify before Congress in an anti-trust hearing July 27. With our 3-day pause, let us send a message to Zuckerberg and Facebook to stop the hate. Together, may we make the world a safer and more humane place.