Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Business Insider

An Audit Slams Facebook as a Home for Misinformation and Hate

Civil rights leaders who instigated an unprecedented ad boycott of Facebook renewed criticism of the social media company for tolerating hate speech, misinformation, and harassment. In a meeting with Facebook executives on Tuesday, and a civil rights “audit” released Wednesday, activists demanded the company act more forcefully against specific posts, and change its management structure and business model.

The audit, commissioned by Facebook in 2018, found the company has been slow to adopt changes to protect users from discrimination and harassment. “Facebook has made notable progress in some areas, but it has not yet devoted enough resources or moved with sufficient speed to tackle the multitude of civil rights challenges that are before it,” concludes the 89-page report, composed by Laura Murphy, the former director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s legislative office.

Murphy describes a “seesaw of progress and setbacks,” noting important steps forward for the platform. Since 2018, Facebook has held regular meetings with civil rights leaders, adopted new rules barring white supremacist content and discriminatory ad targeting, and created a new senior civil rights leadership role to oversee more changes.

But the report concludes that Facebook still lags on its diversity goals, especially in leadership positions, and fails to consult the civil rights community on key decisions. Most notable were recent decisions not to remove posts including comments by President Trump about shooting looters or falsehoods about mail-in ballots. Those decisions “exposed a major hole in Facebook’s understanding and application of civil rights,” the report reads. Such choices “leave our election exposed to interference by the president and others who seek to use misinformation to sow confusion and suppress voting.”

Activists who attended Tuesday’s meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg called it a disappointment. The group, Stop Hate For Profit, asked the executives to improve fact-checking and ban misleading political ads, remove both public and private groups that support white supremacy, and issue refunds to advertisers whose ads appear next to hateful content. Attendees said Zuckerberg and Sandberg were evasive.

“I fully accept that we can’t snap our fingers and make [this] magically fall into place tomorrow,” said Jessica González, co-CEO of the open internet advocacy group Free Press. González attended the meeting and said Facebook avoided even “bare minimum commitments on what the [reforms] will look like or what the timelines will look like. And that’s super disappointing because in the meantime, the safety of our communities and the health of our democracy are at stake.”

Attendees criticized Zuckerberg’s framing of their concerns. “Toward the end of the call, [Mark] said, ‘It’s helpful to hear the nuances of these issues,’” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. “And I said, ‘Mark, there is no nuance to white nationalism.’ This is not a matter of moral relativism.”

The civil rights leaders want Facebook to change not just specific decisions of what posts to remove or leave online but its management structure and business model as well. Changing one affects the other, they argue, because Facebook’s decisions around defining hate speech are shaped by the company’s financial and political goals.

Asked to comment on the audit and critical statements by civil rights leaders, a Facebook spokesperson referred to a blog post Tuesday by Sandberg. “We have clear policies against hate,” Sandberg wrote. “We have made real progress over the years, but this work is never finished and we know what a big responsibility Facebook has to get better at finding and removing hateful content.”

Some attendees of Tuesday’s meeting say the company’s reluctance to remove white supremacist content reflects a fear of upsetting conservative lawmakers. “One of the things that became very clear was the way in which [content moderation] decisions flow directly through” Facebook’s vice president of global public policy, Joel Kaplan, said Rashad Robinson, CEO of Color of Change, a racial equity nonprofit.

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!



METROCOM relaxing while waiting to be deployed near Malacanang on Sept. 21, 1983. — AITOR ALEGRIA Many of us still remember the box office...


STARLINE Because it is the rainy season, the weather is among the many concerns that worry many Filipinos, and the damage and casualties from...


CHINA has seen rapid urbanization; as of 2020, 61% of its population lived in urban areas. In 1960, that number was a mere 16%....


FREEPIK The concept of “choosing the lesser evil” seems to say that when a person is faced with two undesirable (i.e., two unfortunate or...


REUTERS INDIA has given out 1 billion doses of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) vaccines, a key milestone in an inoculation campaign that still faces...


Japan’s Princess Mako arrives at the Imperial Sanctuary inside the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan Oct. 22, 2019. — REUTERS/KIM HONG-JI/FILE PHOTO TOKYO —...

You May Also Like

When people envision technology overtaking society, many think of The Terminator and bulletproof robots. Or Big Brother in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a symbol...

Financial Advisors

Stock Markets9 hours ago (Jul 02, 2020 04:45AM ET) (C) Reuters. ROME (Reuters) – World food prices rose in June to post their first...


SAN FRANCISCO — The spread of the coronavirus has meant feast or famine for technology start-ups. While many are cutting staff and slashing costs...


OAKLAND, Calif. — Jack Dorsey has won plaudits for his corporate activism during the coronavirus crisis, taking on President Trump in his role as...

Disclaimer: Respect, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!