Category Archives: Accountability and Representation

When the media does us wrong and community accountability

#ProtestFacebook

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On February 17, President’s Day, activists organized by Media Alliance and Global Exchange took to the streets in San Francisco and Palo Alto to tell the world’s biggest social network to stop sabotaging democracy for profit.

In San Francisco, FB founder Mark Zuckerberg’s pied a terre in Dolores Heights was surrounded with chalk and signs and besieged with kazoos and whistles, as locals told a bevy of observing press that AI formulas sold to political candidates to abet the spread of viral disinformation was an unacceptable business plan.

Images courtesy of Pro Bono Photos

And in Palo Alto, “TRUTH MATTERS” hung over the Oregon Expressway overpass on Highway 101.

Image courtesy of Pro Bono Photos

Neighbors in Dolores Heights and SF General (Chan-Zuckerberg) Hospital workers joined the San Francisco protest to highlight other disproportionate impacts from the Facebook founder on local communities.

For more on why SF’s safety net hospital should not bear the name of the Facebook founder, see this op-ed from Sasha Cutler from SEIU 1021.

Press Coverage: Newsweek, CNET, SF Gate, SF Examiner, KCBS Radio, SFIST, Xinhua, Mission Local, Breitbart

The President’s Day actions were the third in a series that began on January 9, 2020 with a protest outside Facebook headquarters and were followed by a Truth Matters human billboard the following week.

On February 28th, there will be an action at the headquarters of the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation.

On April 9, Earth Day, the campaign will speak up again with an emphasis on viral climate change denial.

For more on the campaign, visit the Protest Facebook website.

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67 Social Justice Groups Demand Free Phone Calls From Prison

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67 social justice groups, including Media Alliance, demanded that the FCC require the provision of free telephone calls from jails and prisons during the COVID-19 public health crisis. The groups pointed to the FCC’s Connect America pledge and asked why the prison telephone companies were not asked to help “keep America connected” during the crisis.

The letter states:

Incarcerated people are not able to socially distance while inside, and therefore are most vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. Moreover, in conditions where communications are limited, unjust practices may occur because incarcerated people are unable to communicate about dangerous crowding or lack of access to medical care. Adequate communications are a matter of civil rights and public health.

Continue reading 67 Social Justice Groups Demand Free Phone Calls From Prison
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Turn Up the heat on facebook

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Update: The Protest Facebook campaign is thrilled by this gift of original art from SF artist Sharon Steuer and Flora Davis. Download this poster/graphic for your Facebook mobilizing.

The artists add “Feel free to download these posters to share on social media, and/or to print out and post. Please tag with: #StopHateForProfit #FacebookHateGroups #RussianInterference #CoronavirusDisinformation #BlackLivesMatter #CambridgeAnalytica #WhenTheLootingStartsTheShootingStarts #FinePeopleOnBothSides #CitizensUnited #stopzuck. Created by Sharon Steuer <https://sharonsteuer> @sharonsteuer, and Flora Davis <https://floradavis.myportfolio.com/> @floralindadavis.To request a custom size or resolution, please send a message to sharonsteuer.com/contact

Whether it’s racist rhetoric by Donald Trump, disinformation about the coronavirus, or lies in ads by political campaigns, Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have failed to act. Their unwillingness to stop Facebook from being used to do harm is inflaming racial hatred and inciting human rights violations. It also has the potential to disrupt the 2020 elections.

Enough is enough! A growing chorus of organizations is calling on corporations to stop advertising on Facebook until the company changes its ways. Please join us in urging these corporations to use the power of the purse to insist that Facebook protect the public from lies, hate, and disinformation on its platform.

This toolkit tells you how to easily reach out to a baker’s dozen of major Facebook advertisers who have not yet signed on to the boycott.

  • Sample tweets 
  • Sample Facebook posts  
  • Sample email
  • Sample phone script
  • Contact information for top Facebook advertisers and their corporate HQs
Continue reading Turn Up the heat on facebook
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Media Alliance comments on Section 230

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Media Alliance filed these joint comments with Global Exchange on behalf of the Protest Facebook section in the FCC’s proceeding on Section 230 of the Telecom Act.

Section 230 exempts online platforms from liability for their content. It is one of the pillars of the Internet that has allowed alternative content to thrive on the Internet. And in an era of disinformation, we are seeing the dark side of freedom from liability.

Media Alliance categorically rejects that Section 230 should be abolished or ended. Just as categorically, we believe that tempered regulation of online platforms to address the viral spread of disinformation and online hatred is called for.

Here are the comments we submitted to the FCC.

Continue reading Media Alliance comments on Section 230
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Protest Facebook: Protecting the 2020 Elections in the age of facebook.

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The Protest Facebook coalition presented a special webcast on October 6, 2020 about protecting election integrity, voting rights, and democracy in the age of Facebook. It features:

Ángel Díaz is counsel in the Liberty & National Security Program of the Brennan Center for Justice.

Yaël Eisenstat is the former Global Head of Elections Integrity Operations for political advertising at Facebook.

Myaisha Hayes is the campaigns director at MediaJustice, where she oversees the launch of campaigns such as #NoDigitalPrisons and #ProtectBlackDissent.

Jesse Littlewood is the vice president of campaigns at Common Cause, which is training election protection social media monitors to combat cyber-suppression in their communities.

Sponsored by Global Exchange, Media Alliance, the Protest Facebook Coalition and others.

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Protest Facebook – Protect The Results November 4

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The Protest Facebook coalition organized a Protect the Results demonstration in front of Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters on the afternoon of November 4th.

ABC press coverage: Protesters Demand Twitter and Facebook Take More Action Against Election Disinformation

KTVU press coverage: San Francisco Bay Area Protestors Push Back on Trump’s Election Interference

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The Robber Barons of Big Tech

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by Veronica Irwin. Published in SF Weekly.

Remember when we thought we were going to make the world a better place?

In the city where Jello Biafra once ran for mayor on a platform that would have required businessmen to wear clown suits, recently graduated engineers arrived wearing jeans and pocket-tees. Like the countercultural icons who came before them, they thumbed their collective noses at the stuffy protocols that had come to dominate the white collar workforce. While New York’s business elite had members-only clubs, local tech CEOs kept a kegerator in the office — right next to the ping-pong table and bean bag chair lounge. The Silicon Valley “campus,” complete with outdoor shopping centers and arcades, replaced the corporate headquarters, and open floor plans dismantled the sterile grid of cubicles.

This was the Left Coast. On this side of the country, the son of a teen mom and a cuban immigrant could rise to become the world’s first trillionaire and a couple of bearded, shaggy college dropouts could build a world-conquering personal computer company while pledging to Think Different.

Continue reading The Robber Barons of Big Tech
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