August 09, 2016
60,000 Outraged at Facebook for Censoring Korryn Gaines’ Account and Videos
Consumer Watchdog Demands Facebook CEO Clarify Position on Profile Deactivation & Video Censorship at Police Request
Nearly 60,000 members of SumOfUs, an international consumer watchdog, are calling on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to clarify his company’s position on the deactivation and censorship of personal profiles at the request of the police.
The petition was launched after Facebook deactivated the account of Korryn Gaines, a 23-year old black woman shot to death by Baltimore County police on Monday, August 1st. Gaines was broadcasting the standoff that ultimately led to her death and the injury of her 5 year-old son.
SumOfUs is also asking that Facebook adopt a public, transparent and accountable policy that protects individual civil liberties in the face of police requests for censorship.
“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been a notable supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and issues of racial justice in the United States in the past few years. That is exactly why it was so troubling to see that Facebook actively censored Korryn Gaines’ account and videos of her murder by police at the request of law enforcement officials,” explained Nicole Carty, campaigner at SumOfUs. “In recent years, social media and shareable video have been instrumental to raising awareness about the ongoing epidemic of police violence against people of color in the United States. But if Facebook censors this critical tool at the behest of the police, that could all change.
SumOfUs argues that the introduction of Facebook Live puts Facebook in the position to control one of the most powerful tools used to expose police misconduct. Just last month, the Facebook livestream of Philando Castile’s death at the hands of police sparked nationwide protests.
“If Facebook simply complies with police requests to suspend broadcasts and accounts, it will be shielding police misbehavior from the public and stifling free speech — not to mention cutting people off from crucial support networks in the midst of deadly police encounters,” added Carty.