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NAACP stages Facebook boycott over alleged black voter suppression

The group also criticized the hiring of an 'outside conservative consulting firm'

JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has temporarily boycotted Facebook over concerns that the company allowed its platform to be used by Russian hackers to suppress the black vote in 2016, according to NBC News.

The NAACP announced the move and started the hashtag #LogOutFacebook, a weeklong protest that it is calling on others to join. Among those participating is comedian Amy Schumer.

The NAACP also returned a donation it had received from Facebook.

More about the protest: A Senate Intelligence Committee report indicated that Russian operatives attempted to suppress the black vote during the 2016 election using Facebook posts.

Russians set up 30 Facebook pages targeting African Americans, "seeking to engender distrust among—and suppress the vote of—left-leaning groups, including African Americans," NBC News reported.

So, the NAACP wants Congress to investigate Facebook in response to that revelation, and is calling on Facebook to do take actions on findings from the company's Civil Rights Audit.

"We think it goes far beyond a foreign nation seeking to use Facebook as a tool to promote racial hatred," said NAACP president Derrick Johnson. "We're also beginning to look at whether or not there is the necessary diversity within Facebook corporate culture to make sound decisions around the sensitivities of African Americans."

Additionally, the NAACP criticized Facebook's hiring of Definers Public Affairs, a lobbying firm which pushes out content that favors clients, disguising it as news coverage in hopes that it becomes widely aggregated.

"The mere fact that they hired an outside conservative consulting firm proceeded with doing reconnaissance type investigative stuff on colleagues and civil rights organizations gives us pause," Johnson said. "That has nothing to do with Russia. That's a corporate culture that allows for such a group to be a consultant working on behalf of Facebook. That's a problem and that problem needs to be addressed."

Facebook acknowledges concerns: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said "We know we need to do more. The report includes areas where we can and should do better—and we're working hard to address these concerns."

One last thing…
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