A civil right organisation in the US has urged social media users to boycott Facebook after a report found out that a Russian disinformation campaign made extraordinary social media efforts to suppress the votes of African Americans during the 2016 presidential elections.
The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) launched a digital campaign against Facebook because of the “tech company’s history of data hacks which unfairly target its users of color”.
Researchers at Oxford University and social media analysis firm, Graphika, said that Russians used social media to “confuse, distract, and ultimately discourage” African American people from voting, as well as other pro-Clinton voters.
“Over the last year, NAACP has expressed concerns about the numerous data breaches and privacy mishaps in which Facebook has been implicated,” the NAACP said in a statement on Tuesday.
“And since the onset of the Silicon Valley boom, the organisation has been openly critical about the lack of employee diversity among the top technology firms in the country.”
NAACP calls for a week-long boycott of Facebook
The group has encouraged social media users to #Logout and avoid using their Facebook and Instagram accounts for an entire week, while also calling for Congress to investigate the social media network.
The NAACP also revealed they returned a donation received from Facebook.
“Facebook’s engagement with partisan firms, it’s targeting of political opponents, the spread of misinformation and the utilisation of Facebook for propaganda promoting disingenuous portrayals of the African American community is reprehensible,” said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP.
Other high-profile individuals in the tech industry have also encouraged people to boycott Facebook. Among those urging users to boycott Facebook was Whatsapp co-founder Brian Acton, whose company was acquired by Facebook for $19bn (£15bn) in 2014.
The boycott campaign comes amid growing outrage from regulators worldwide over Facebook’s involvement in the Cambridge Data Analytica Scandal.