Kairos Urges Users to Log Out Facebook Over It Boosting Hate, Misinformation
In SummaryJelani Drew-Davi, Kairos' campaign director, said Facebook is particularly harmful to Black and Brown communities and has been for a long time.
Kairos, an organization aimed at addressing the racial, gender and power gaps in the digital space, has called for people to log out of Facebook next month to call out, what critics say, the platform promoting harmful rhetoric.
In recent weeks all eyes have been on the company, following a bombshell complaint by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen. Haugen claims the company amplifies hate, misinformation and political unrest.
Jelani Drew-Davi, Kairos’ campaign director, said Facebook is particularly harmful to Black and Brown communities and has been for a long time.
Black Lives Matter activists have accused the platform of deleting posts and silencing their views, particularly after the racial uprising following George Floyd’s murder in 2020.
“We were saying things online and all of a sudden, they were gone,” Drew-Davi said. “From blocking activists posts to leaving anti-Black hate speech up and even, from what we saw last year, letting COVID and voting disinformation run rampant to a place where people didn’t want to vote or was scared to vote.”
Facebook and Instagram users hold a lot of power because they run the platforms, Drew-Davi said. They believe logging out from the sites will send a message to the company.
Kairos wants people first to take the pledge to log out, and then will help organize folks to log out on Nov. 10.
“We really saw this moment in time as different. We’ve seen how Facebook has been directly harming our children, our society, our democracy and people are really desperate to take action,” they said. Without us, Facebook is nothing.”
The organization is asking for people to log out of Facebook and asking for the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, to resign.
“He needs to step down as CEO because he’s done a lot of things and made a lot of decisions that have been absolutely disastrous,” Drew-Davi said.
On Oct. 4, Facebook, alongside Instagram and WhatsApp, both of which the company owns, experienced a roughly six-hour outage. While the break from the company was welcomed by many, for businesses, it was a problem as many run their companies through Facebook and its subsidiaries.
Drew-Davi isn’t calling for people to delete their Facebook accounts because “people actually do rely on these platforms to connect [and] to work,” but is asking them to log out off of the company’s platforms for at least three days.
“What comes afterward is more organizing and more community building with folks who now know their power as users,” they said. “This is just the beginning.”