NAACP urges Facebook users to protest after report finds Russian influence campaign targeted African-Americans

The NAACP said Monday that it is returning a donation from Facebook and encouraging users to log out of the platform in protest after a Senate report found that Russians exploited social media to suppress African-American turnout in the 2016 election.

“Facebook’s engagement with partisan firms, its targeting of political opponents, the spread of misinformation and the utilization of Facebook for propaganda promoting disingenuous portrayals of the African American community is reprehensible,”  NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement.

The civil rights organization said it has given back a donation to Facebook, though it did not specify the amount.


The NAACP said it would lead a protest starting Tuesday that encouraged individuals to log out of Facebook and Instagram for one week as "a way to signify to Facebook that the data and privacy of its users of color matter more than its corporate interests."

The NAACP called on Congress to conduct further investigations into Facebook's behavior following the release of a report produced for the Senate Intelligence Committee that found Russia used Instagram posts as part of a voter suppression drive targeting African-Americans.

The effort rivaled or even exceeded Russia’s efforts to influence people through Facebook, The New York Times reported.

“The most prolific I.R.A. efforts on Facebook and Instagram specifically targeted black American communities and appear to have been focused on developing black audiences and recruiting black Americans as assets,” the report said, referring to a Russian propaganda operation, the Internet Research Agency.

The report did not detail why Russia placed so much focus on suppressing African-American voters.