Long Overdue Civil Rights Audit Shows Facebook is Making Progress

Contact: Shin Inouye, [email protected], 202.869.0398

WASHINGTON – Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on Facebook’s civil rights audit:

“This long overdue civil rights audit shows that Facebook is making important progress to address its significant civil rights challenges. But this is not, and must not, be the end. As the world’s largest social media platform, it is crucial that Facebook integrate anti-discrimination work into the DNA of the company and their products.

“We appreciate the much-needed greater focus on hate speech, voting rights, disinformation, and suppressive advertising. We also applaud their prioritization of the census and commitment to prohibit census misinformation. We welcome the creation of the civil rights task force and continue to push for a full-time senior officer to represent users’ needs and work in close consultation with civil rights organizations. All of these steps are part of the ongoing process to correct the company’s shortcomings.”

The Leadership Conference and Color Of Change in November sent a letter to Facebook urging the company to “take immediate steps to build and restore public faith…in the aftermath of revelations detailing ways the company has undermined our democracy and civil society.”

In 2014, The Leadership Conference and a broad coalition of civil, human, and media rights organizations released Civil Rights Principles for the Era of Big Data, urging companies and the government to develop and use modern technologies in ways that will promote equal opportunity and equal justice. Those principles are available here. 

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.