Facebook has joined the likes of Google committed $175 million, Apple launched the $100 million and other tech giants to set aside nine-digit financial commitments toward racial equity and especially black-owned businesses.
Facebook has declared that it will set aside $200 million to support black-owned businesses and organizations in the US, this is coming after the tech giant intriduces a new section of the Facebook app, called “Lift Black Voices,” which will “highlight stories from black people, share educational resources, and inspire people to take action through fundraising for racial justice causes”; the company also plans to surface accounts in Instagram search to “help people take action for racial justice,” though Sandberg’s post didn’t elaborate further on what that meant.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg had already said on May 31st that Facebook would commit $10 million to “groups working on racial justice,” though noted that the company was working with advisors and employees to figure out how to best distribute the money.
The platform has come under scrutiny for enabling discrimination in the past. For example, a 2016 ProPublica investigation found that Facebook advertisers could choose to exclude people of a certain race from seeing ads. That tool, if used with housing ads, could violate the Fair Housing Act, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development charged Facebook for that violation in March 2019. White supremacists have also flourished on the platform, despite Facebook’s announced ban on them.
In honour of Juneteenth, the holiday that celebrates the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas learned they were free, Facebook will donate $5 million to more than 250,000 fundraisers on Facebook supporting the Equal Justice Initiative, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Innocence Project.
In addition, Facebook plans to increase diversity in its leadership ranks over the next five years by adding 30 per cent more people of colour, including 30 per cent more Black people, Sandberg said. The company also committed to double the number of black and Latinx staff by the end of 2023. Facebook had previously announced a goal to have 50 per cent of its workforce made up of “underrepresented communities” by that same date.