NAACP president calls Facebook 'one of the biggest threats to democracy' as companies join ad boycott

Derrick Johnson
(Image credit: MSNBC)

As Facebook faces an ad boycott, the president of the NAACP is blasting the platform as a threat to democracy.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is among the civil rights organizations behind a campaign for companies to pause advertising on Facebook in July; they're calling for Facebook to change its policies and take action against "hate, bigotry, racism, antisemitism and violence" on the platform.

"They have allowed a foreign nation to interfere with our elections," NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson told MSNBC on Thursday. "They have fanned the flames of racial hatred, and altered the course of our democracy, and they refuse to do anything about it. ... They are probably one of the biggest threats to democracy that we see."

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Some of the companies that have backed the "Stop Hate for Profit" ad boycott of Facebook include Ben & Jerry's and The North Face. Facebook "must take the clear and unequivocal actions to stop its platform from being used to spread and amplify racism and hate," Ben & Jerry's said this week. Axios writes the boycott "likely won't hurt the company's bottom line in the short term," but it "turns up the political pressure" on Facebook ahead of the election.

Rev. Al Sharpton also spoke on MSNBC on Thursday, noting he and Johnson have both met privately with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

"We went to Zuckerberg's home, had a meeting with several hours," Sharpton said. "...We tried to reason with them, and they will not do it."

Civil rights leaders including from the NAACP previously blasted Zuckerberg after talking with him about why Facebook hasn't taken down posts by President Trump that Twitter flagged for glorifying violence. The groups called Zuckerberg's explanations "incomprehensible." Brendan Morrow

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.