Facebook Must Protect Democracy and Georgia Election Workers

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5 mins read

DemCast USA is proud to announce that we are part of a group of 59 organizations including grassroots groups in Georgia, climate, racial, and gender justice groups, and big multi-issue national progressive groups who have signed a letter demanding that Facebook provide added protections to election workers and fight disinformation and violence in Georgia.  Here is the text of the letter:

December 14, 2020

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg, Ms. Sandberg, Ms. Elin, and Mr. Zafar,

The Georgia Senate runoff elections are less than a month away, and election workers in Georgia have already been forced to take drastic measures to protect themselves against online threats of violence, with some even forced into hiding.1

Facebook currently offers additional privacy and safety features to frequently targeted people, like journalists and politicians. As organizations dedicated to social justice and stopping the spread of harmful hate speech and disinformation, whose constituents’ lives hang in the balance, ​we implore Facebook to expand these protections to Georgia election workers and commit to closer monitoring in Georgia to block election disinformation and violent activity that is organized on your company’s platform.

The majority of election workers are women, and many extremists are focusing their attacks on Black
election workers in majority-Black districts.2 These Black women, who make our democracy work, are facing harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence–and Facebook has an opportunity to change that.

This is not a partisan issue; it’s a matter of protecting our public servants and the integrity of our democracy.​ Election workers across Georgia are reporting widespread harassment and death threats,–one worker found a noose outside of his family’s home with his name on it.345 On December 1, Republican Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting system implementation manager, warned at a press conference that “[s]omeone is gonna get hurt, someone is gonna get shot, someone is gonna get killed.” He added “It’s not right.”

Facebook has served as a site for hateful extremists to spread disinformation, harass election workers, and undermine our votes. Now, heading into the final weeks of the runoff elections, it’s critical that Facebook take immediate action to protect Georgia election workers by extending to them the protections that are currently provided to journalists and politicians and taking steps to block the spread of disinformation and violence in Georgia.6

Signed,

#VOTEPROCHOICE
9to5, National Association of Working Women
Access Now
Accountable Tech
ACRONYM
Advance Native Political Leadership
BlackPAC
Care2
Care in Action
Catalist
Center for Democracy & Technology
Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR)
Color Of Change
DemCast USA

End Citizens United // Let America Vote Action Fund
Equality Labs
Fair Fight Action
Faithful America
Fix Democracy First
Free Press Action
Free Speech For People
Generation Justice
Greenpeace
Guns Down America
Higher Heights
Indivisible Chicago Alliance Lake Oconee Community Church Mainers for Accountable Leadership
MediaJustice
MomsRising MoveOn
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Equality Action Team (NEAT)
National Hispanic Media Coalition
RealityTeam
ReFrame
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
SisterSong: Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
Southern Coalition for Social Justice
Stand Up America
Stop Online Violence Against Women Inc.
SumOfUs
Supermajority
Tech Transparency Project
The Greenlining Institute
The Representation Project
The Womxn Project
UltraViolet Action
Unitarian Universalist Association
United We Dream
Vermont Public Interest Research Group
Way to Win
Where It’s Needed (WIN PAC)
Win Black / Pa’lante
Win Without War Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom US (WILPF US) Women’s March

  1. Georgia poll worker in hiding after false claims online
  2. We will not allow anyone to stop us, Day and night, under historic scrutiny the nation’s vote counters carried on.
  3. As Trump rails against loss, his supporters become more threatening
  4. This has to stop. Harassed and threatened GOP election officials urge party leaders to take a stand
  5. Someone’s gonna get shot. Georgia official calls out Trump, senators over harsh rhetoric.
  6. ‘Someone’s going to get hurt’: Georgia elections official denounces threats, asks President Trump to condemn violent rhetoric​,


DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.


DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks, but are sustained solely on donations from grassroots supporters. Because our revenue isn’t click-driven, we don’t take in any direct revenue from the creative contributions of grassroots activists who post on the site. This sets us apart from other media sites. And we’re proud of that.

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