On December 19, 2019, Facebook announced new census policies. Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement in response:
“Disinformation campaigns designed to discourage participation in the Census stand as a real threat to the full and accurate Census that we are working hard to achieve in 2020. These campaigns can have a particularly negative impact on communities of color and young people who are over-represented among the hard-to-count communities. We are pleased that Facebook is taking a step forward with its new policy announcement making clear an intent to block Census disinformation on the platform. We will be monitoring closely to ensure that Facebook’s policy is implemented fairly, transparently, and effectively across the platform and hope that other platforms will follow suit.”
Clarke continued, “With billions of dollars in federal funding on the line and data that is central to the upcoming redistricting cycle, the stakes are high for the 2020 Census. Social media platforms provide bad actors a vehicle to turbocharge their efforts to depress community participation in the Census and they bear the responsibility of preventing such harm. Written policies are only as valuable as their enforcement.”
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has worked with Facebook through an ongoing civil rights audit to help achieve the change announced today.