Amazon and Facebook March Photos

While we demand the defunding and demilitarization of the existing police system, genuine community control of peacekeepers, and an end to mass incarceration, it is important to call out the private corporations that profit from business contracts with the police and prisons and fund police corruption. These corporations are a vital part of the police-prison-industrial complex that expands by keeping its knee on Black necks across the US. Two of these corporations are Facebook and Amazon.

Although Facebook tries to give a public perception of supporting Black Lives Matter, the company:

  • Funds local discriminatory police forces, contributing to and financing the police state for people of color

    • Gave $9.1 million in 2017 to start a new police precinct in Belle Haven district of Menlo Park (a community already overpoliced), thereby expanding a local police force locally known for corruption and racial profiling.

  • Increases income inequality, drives up local housing prices, and harms neighboring underfunded communities through its continuous expansion in East Palo Alto

  • Discriminates based on race with its advertising, perpetuating housing discrimination. 

  • Offers employees generous bonuses to live close to campus but excludes communities of color, thus increasing gentrification while promoting unnecessary law enforcement in certain areas

  • Doesn’t create a significant amount of jobs for people of color in the community, "Facebook has almost doubled its number of black employees since 2014, but the number still sits at 3.8 percent." 

  • Facebook chose not to remove President Trump’s post inciting violence against protestors, despite employees threatening to resign

Meanwhile, despite its proclaimed support for Black Lives Matter, Amazon has made billions through its contracts with police departments, prisons, ICE, and the US military:

  • Amazon shareholders voted overwhelmingly last year to continue profiting off the sale of facial recognition technology to U.S. police departments. Only 2.4% voted to end the sale of this invasive technology. Now, conveniently Amazon says it’s banning the use of facial recognition for “a year” by police departments. Too little, too late.

    • According to a landmark study conducted by The US National Institute of Standards and Technology “almost 200 face recognition algorithms—a majority in the industry—had worse performance on nonwhite faces...in other words, they were more likely to find a match when there wasn’t one.” This leads to racist and unjust outcomes for people of color. 

  • Amazon allows police to easily access and indefinitely store Amazon Ring footage, allowing them to use a massive surveillance network that is fueled by racial bias, without a warrant or oversight

  • Amazon helps police use Ring footage to conduct facial recognition searches, target protesters exercising their First Amendment rights, criminalize teenagers for minor drug possession, and share information with ICE and the FBI

  • Amazon fires workers who advocate and protest for better working conditions (during COVID, essential supplies like hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are rationed or there is none available)

The Black Hub Bay Area by

Justice Vanguard Foundation

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