Facebook Helped The 2016 Trump Campaign Place Political Ads To Suppress The Black Vote | #facebookdating | #tinder | #pof

From: Free Press Action

New
Report Raises Concerns That Facebook And The 2016 Trump
Campaign Colluded On Political Ads To Suppress The Black
Vote

WASHINGTON – On Monday, British outlet Channel 4
News reported that it had gained access to a massive
database of voter information that was used by the 2016
Trump Campaign to discourage Black people from going to the
polls.

According to the report, the campaign had
categorized more than 3.5 million Black American voters for
“deterrence.” They reportedly received Facebook political
ads that discouraged them from turning out to vote on
Election Day 2016, and indeed Black turnout was the lowest
it had been for a general election in 20
years.

Facebook actively helped the Trump Campaign
place these ads in 2016, but is now refusing to tell Channel
4 News reporters much more, including what ads were used,
where they were placed, and how voters of color were
targeted.

In 2016, Facebook still provided advertisers
with tools that allowed them to target audiences by their
“religious and ethnic affinities.” These tools were known
to realtors, for instance, some of whom used the technology
to exclude
people of color
from seeing certain property ads. And
while Facebook banned such discriminatory targeting in 2018,
it still refuses to reveal whether it helped the Trump
campaign target voters by race in 2016, or whether Facebook
helped the Trump campaign show Black people ads that
discouraged them from voting.

Free Press Action Vice
President of Cultural Strategy Collette Watson made the
following statement:

“We now have the receipts on
the ways Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign used Facebook to
target Black voters and suppress their vote. Facebook needs
to come clean about the role it played in discouraging Black
voters in 2016, and may continue to be playing in
2020.

“Facebook is the newest frontier
in a long history of suppression of the Black vote, dating
back to the poll taxes of the Jim Crow South and still
evident in the recent decision revoking the voting rights of
formerly incarcerated people in Florida. We know there are
forces in this country who want to take away Black folks’
right to vote. The question is whether Facebook’s leaders
are content providing the tools that make digital racist
disenfranchisement possible.

“The Trump
campaign spent tens of millions of dollars on Facebook
political ads in the 2016 campaign. Facebook was willing to
pocket this money but has chosen not to be transparent about
the ads.

“As we approach another contentious
election it’s time for Facebook to make good on its
commitment to fight racism and disinformation. It must
submit for an independent race-equity audit all 2016, 2018
and 2020 political ads placed by local, state and federal
candidates, including their related targeting
data.”

Free Press Action Senior Policy Counsel
Gaurav Laroia made the following statement:

“These
kinds of data abuses imperil democracy and undermine the
legitimacy of our elections. As the 2020 election season is
underway we must be dead certain that discriminatory
targeting and voter disenfranchisement isn’t still
happening. We must also ensure that Congress pass privacy
legislation that prevents anyone that collects, uses and
secures our personal information from using it in a
discriminatory manner.

“These companies have used
our data to enable and sometimes even participate in
discrimination against people of color, women, members of
the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, people with
disabilities, immigrants and other marginalized
communities.

“Free Press Action and the Lawyers’
Committee for Civil Rights Under Law have created a legislative
draft
that calls on Congress to protect civil rights and
privacy online. We believe that privacy rights are civil
rights. A new bargain must be struck between ordinary people
and the powerful companies that act as gatekeepers to
participation in 21st-century life.

“Congress must
pass privacy legislation that ensures that powerful
interests like Facebook and its advertisers don’t use our
data in ways that violate our rights and silence our voices.
We must have control over how our personal information is
used, and prohibit its use to build systems that oppress,
discriminate, disenfranchise and exacerbate
segregation.

“Freely and fairly participating in our
elections is a hard-won and still embattled right. The
continued fallout from the 2016 election shows how abusive
and exploitative data practices can imperil those rights.
Privacy and civil rights go hand in hand. We must protect
both.”

Free Press Action is a nonpartisan
organization fighting for people’s rights to connect and
communicate. Free Press Action does not support or oppose
any candidate for public
office.

© Scoop Media

 


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