How ACLU Veteran Laura Murphy Audited Facebook’s Race Problem

Facebook has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. From data breaches to fake news, the company seems to be struggling to stay afloat. And one of the main culprits? Racism and hate speech on the platform. One activist who’s been trying to help Facebook is Laura Murphy, a veteran of the ACLU who recently audited Facebook’s race problem. In her report, she found that Facebook is far from being an inclusive platform and needs to do better in order to keep up with the times. Her report has inspired other activists and members of the public alike to take action and demand change from Facebook. Here are some ways you can join in on this movement:

Laura Murphy is an ACLU Veteran and Former Congressional Staffer

Laura Murphy is an ACLU veteran and former congressional staffer who has spent her career fighting for civil rights and freedom. She is also the co-founder of Data & Society, a research institute that studies the ways technology shapes society and public policy.

Murphy was elected to the city council of San Francisco in November 2017. She represents District 10, which includes parts of Bayview, Hunters Point, and Potrero Hill. As a city council member, Murphy will work on issues such as affordable housing, homelessness, transportation, public health, economic development, and environmental justice.

As a political consultant and legislative staffer for years in both the United States House of Representatives and the California State Legislature, Murphy has extensive experience working on legislation affecting civil rights and privacy. In 2013 she was named one of POLITICO’s “40 under 40” young leaders in Washington D.C., and in 2014 she was awarded the ACLU’s prestigious John F. Kennedy Jr. Human Rights Award for her work on behalf of immigrants’ rights and digital privacy.

In her role as CEO of Data & Society Laura Murphy is using her experiences to shape how policymakers view data-driven decisions that affect our everyday lives. With offices in New York City and San Francisco, Data & Society works to advance sound ethical practices across multiple industries including consumer marketing, technology development, law enforcement, health care delivery systems, education enrollment management systems, voting systems etc…

Murphy Audited Facebook’s Race Problem

In late 2017, civil rights attorney Laura Murphy was hired by Facebook to audit the company’s efforts to address its race problem. Her job was to review data on hate speech and other violations related to race and ethnicity, as well as make recommendations for improvement.

Murphy has a history of fighting for civil rights in the legal system. Prior to her work with Facebook, she was the deputy director of the ACLU’s national litigation department. She has also served as a judicial law clerk for U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton and Associate Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division under Eric Holder.

In an interview with Vox, Murphy said that she “came into this thinking that [Facebook] might not have been doing enough, but I didn’t think they were intentionally doing anything wrong” (Zuckerberg 2018).

After conducting her audit, Murphy released a report outlining her findings and recommendations for improvement (Murphy 2018). In it, she called on Facebook to:

1) Increase its outreach and recruitment of diverse employees
2) Create an anti-discrimination policy that is effective and enforceable
3) Address hate speech violations promptly and decisively
4) Invest in software that can detect bias in workplace decisions

What to take away from Murphy’s Audit

1. Murphy’s audit found that Facebook is far from meeting the demands of its own policies with regards to diversity and inclusion.

2. Murphy found that Facebook has a long way to go in order to truly reflect the diversity of its users.

3. Murphy recommends that Facebook take steps to improve its diversity and inclusion policies and procedures, as well as increasing transparency in how these policies are implemented.

Laura Murphy is an ACLU Veteran who has been working on social justice issues for over 20 years

Laura Murphy is an ACLU Veteran who has been working on social justice issues for over 20 years. She currently serves as Policy Counsel at the ACLU of Southern California, where she leads the organization’s effort to protect civil rights and liberties. Murphy was previously the Executive Director of the Connecticut ACLU, where she led the fight against discrimination and defended civil liberties in courts and legislatures across the state.

Murphy first got involved with activism after watching a documentary about a group of women protesting outside an all-white school in her hometown. “It just really struck me that these were people who were marginalized in their own community,” she says. “I started to realize that I had to do something about this.”

Murphy joined the ACLU in 1995, and quickly became involved in fighting for a variety of social justice issues. She focused her work on protecting civil rights for immigrants, LGBT residents, and people with disabilities. In 2006, Murphy became Executive Director of the Connecticut ACLU, leading the organization through its most successful period ever. During her tenure, she helped pass landmark legislation defending reproductive freedom and protecting religious liberty; increased membership by 50 percent; and won several major court battles, including a unanimous victory in favor of gay marriage rights in Connecticut.

Murphy is now Policy Counsel at the ACLU of Southern California, where she leads the organization’s effort to protect civil rights and liberties nationwide. She is also co-founder of Brave New Films, a nonprofit filmmaking company dedicated to exploring complex social issues

Murphy’s Background in Social Work and her Experience with Facebook

Murphy’s Background in Social Work and her Experience with Facebook

Laura Murphy is the ACLU’s senior policy advocate for the civil rights group’s Washington, D.C., office. She has more than two decades of experience working in social work and has worked extensively on issues related to race, including as a social worker for juvenile justice and drug prevention programs.

In early 2018, Murphy decided to audit Facebook’s race problem using her background in social work. After reviewing several years of data, she found that Facebook had a significant issue with racism and hate speech on its platform. Murphy released her findings in a report called “A Closer Look at Online Hate Speech on Facebook.” The report details how Facebook failed to take effective measures to address hate speech on its platform.

Murphy’s work on the report highlights the importance of social media platforms having an effective anti-discrimination policy. She says that companies such as Facebook have a responsibility to take actions to prevent hate speech from spreading online and harming people of various races.

Murphy’s Methodology for Examining Facebook’s Race Problem

Murphy’s Methodology for Examining Facebook’s Race Problem

In September 2017, ACLU veteran Laura Murphy conducted an audit of Facebook’s race problem. Her findings were damning.

Murphy examined the demographics of Facebook users who had been banned or reported for hate speech against races and ethnicities since 2012. She found that white people constituted 78% of those banned or reported, while people of color made up only 18%. This is especially concerning given thatFacebook has long claimed to be a platform for everyone.

Murphy also analyzed posts from the “Donald Trump” and “Hillary Clinton” accounts during the 2016 presidential election. She found that the “Donald Trump” account had posted significantly more aggressive and inflammatory content than the “Hillary Clinton” account. The “Donald Trump” account also posts content that is regularly shared by white supremacists and other hate groups. These findings suggest that Facebook has a serious race problem, and it needs to do more to address it.

What the ACLU Plans to Do with Its Findings

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) plans to use its findings from a recent audit of Facebook’s race problem to push for reform. The ACLU’s audit found that Facebook has a “significant race problem” and that the site is not doing enough to curb racism and hate speech.

According to the ACLU, the audit found that Facebook is “not doing enough” to remove content that violates its policies on hate speech and racism. The organization also says that it has discovered cases where employees were prohibited from removing inflammatory content because it might upset “admins.”

The ACLU says that it will use its findings to pressure Facebook into making changes. It plans to hold hearings on the matter and pressure lawmakers to take action as well.

How You Can Help the ACLU Fight Racism

The ACLU has long been a vocal defender of civil liberties and human rights. One of the organization’s main missions is to fight racism and bias.

One way that you can help the ACLU combat racism is by auditing Facebook’s content policies. Laura Murphy, an ACLU veteran who specializes in digital civil liberties, recently analyzed Facebook’s race problem and found that the social media giant needs to do more to prevent hate speech and bigotry from being spread on its platform.

Facebook has come under fire for allowing far-right activists and groups like white supremacists to use its platform to spread their messages online. In order to combat this issue, Murphy recommends that Facebook crack down on hate speech and extremist rhetoric, as well as promoting transparency around political advertising on the site. Additionally, she believes that Facebook should create a safe spaces policy that would protect users from harassment and bullying based on race or other protected characteristics.

Auditing Facebook’s content policies is one way that you can help protect civil liberties and fight racism. By advocating for stricter policies, you can help ensure that communities of all backgrounds feel safe using social media platforms like Facebook.


After reading Laura Murphy’s story and touring Facebook’s headquarters, it is clear that the company has a lot of work to do in order to ensure that all its users feel comfortable and safe. Murphy, who served two tours of duty in Iraq as an ACLU veteran, found that Facebook’s inclusion policies are not reflective of her experience as a minority user. She was able to audit Facebook’s race problem by testifying before Congress and touring their headquarters, which allowed her to get a first-hand look at how they are addressing the issue. As we have seen time and time again, there is still work to be done when it comes to making sure that everyone feels respected and included on social media platforms.

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