On June 17, Color Of Change, along with the NAACP, ADL, Sleeping Giants, Free Press and Common Sense Media, wrote an open letter asking companies to stop advertising on Facebook during the month of July.
These are the key figures behind those organizations:
Rashad Robinson – President of Color of Change
Rashad Robinson was founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and joined Color of Change in 2011.
Robinson, an American civil rights leader, has spearheaded a number of the organization’s initiatives, including a campaign to raise money from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization responsible for the Stand Your Ground ‘laws involved in Florida’s death in Trayvon Martin in 2012.
Robinson also supported the group’s successful efforts to convince companies, including Mastercard and PayPal, to stop accepting payments from white nationalist groups.
Of the social media ad boycott campaign against Facebook, Robinson claimed it would “ come a long time. ”
Facebook has given [advertisers] no other option because of their failure, time after time, to tackle the very real and the very visible problems on their platform. ‘
Jim Steyer – CEO of Common Sense Media
Steyer, an American civil rights attorney, founded Common Sense Media in 2003.
The non-profit focuses on the effects that media and technology can have on young users.
Steyer was instrumental in passing a 2005 California law restricting the sale of violent video games, which was later dropped by the Supreme Court.
He was also a supporter of the California Eraser Bill, which allows children under the age of 18 to remove their posts from social media websites.
Steyer said his decision to support the Stop Hate for Profit campaign was motivated by protests against police brutality.
“I have to admit, we didn’t expect this to get off the ground as quickly as so many of the major advertisers in the United States and worldwide participate,” Steyer told NPR. “It only shows that they are also frustrated and that they share our concerns about democratic norms, about the social discourse and what is happening on Facebook and Instagram.”
Derrick Johnson – NAACP CEO
Johnson became the president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in October 2017.
He is also the founder of the Mississippi non-profit organization One Voice Inc., which aims to improve the quality of life of African Americans through public engagement.
Johnson, with the NAACP, supported the Supreme Court case of June 18, 2020, in which SCOTUS prevented President Trump’s government from revoking the Program for Delayed Actions for Children’s Arrival (DACA) for young immigrants.
Johnson has since accused Facebook of “blatant disregard,” according to the Mississippi nonprofit One Voice Inc. website, which aims to improve the quality of life of African Americans through public engagement.
“Facebook is ultimately harming its credibility with the American public, and any company that wants to avoid the same should send a message that we will not accept disinformation at this critical time.”
Jonathan Greenblatt – director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League
Prior to heading the ADL, Greenblatt was the White House special assistant to Barack Obama and director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civil Participation.
As a director, he led the efforts to use human capital and financial capital to draw attention to community solutions, focusing on issues such as national services, citizen engagement, impact investment and social enterprises.
Greenblatt was involved in a number of governance priorities, including the prevention of gun violence. He left the administration in 2014 and was succeeded by David Wilkinson.
Greenblatt also founded All for Good (AFG), an open source platform designed to empower more Americans to serve and volunteer within their communities.
Matt Rivitz – founder of Sleeping Giants
Rivitz initially operated Sleeping Giants completely anonymously until July 2018, when he was identified by the Daily Caller.
The social media activism organization wants to persuade companies to remove ads from conservative newscasts.
Rivitz campaign started shortly after Donald Trump’s election in November 2016, calling for brands to boycott Breitbart News.
Rivitz successfully convinced AT&T and Kellogs to stop advertising on the news website, by the thousands in May 2017.
Sleeping Giants was involved in the campaign pressuring advertisers to drop The O’Reilly Factor following the discovery of five sexual harassment settlements by hosts Bill O’Reilly and Fox News, resulting in the show’s cancellation.
Jessica J Gonzalez – Co-CEO of Free Press
Gonzalez is a racial justice attorney, who was co-CEO along with Craig Aaron in January 2020.
Gonzalez, a former Lifeline recipient, has been behind a number of attempts to stop President Trump from making substantial cuts to the program, which offers low-income people telephone and Internet access.
She was part of the legal team that overturned a Trump FCC decision on net neutrality.
Gonzalez also co-founded Change the Terms, a coalition of over 50 civil and digital rights groups seeking to disrupt online hatred.
Responding to the news that Facebook was addressing concerns about the Stop Hate for Profit campaign, Gonzalez said:
While these changes are important, Facebook is doing the bare minimum to stop hate on its platform. We will be watching closely to ensure Zuckerberg delivers on these promises, and we will continue our fight for more holistic change within the company through our work with the Change the Terms and Stop Hate for Profit coalitions.
Facebook needs to understand that enabling the spread of hate speech comes at a high financial cost. The country is changing. We are at a crucial moment in the fight for the rights of black and brown people. Unless Facebook changes and takes critical steps to combat the spread of racism and bigotry, it will continue to have consequences.
“Our fight for justice on Facebook is far from over. Until we see much more comprehensive reforms of Facebook’s policies and practices, our advertiser boycott and our commitment to take over Facebook to change the Terms’ business model policy to disrupt hateful activity on its sites continue to apply. ”