BREAKING: Facebook’s New Zero Tolerance Policy for Hate and Election Misinformation Must Be Enforced, Says Change the Terms
Facebook CEO’s Announcement to Eliminate Exemptions on Incitements of Violence and Voter Suppression Must Result in Removals of Offending Politicians and White Supremacists
For Immediate Release: June 26, 2020
Contact: Christina DiPasquale, 202.716.1953, email@example.com
Change the Terms, a coalition of over 55 civil rights groups committed to fighting online hate, responded today to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of updated platform policies which include a higher standard banning a wider range of hateful content in ads, a ban on false information about voting, and labels for newsworthy content left up that would otherwise violate platform policies. There are no exemptions for politicians from any new policies announced today.
Jessica J. González, co-founder of Change the Terms and co-CEO of Free Press said:
“Today at Facebook, the collective voice of diverse users won against the threats of hateful politicians and white supremacists, but we need more enforcement — not words that remain unfulfilled. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally acknowledged that no one will be exempted from platform policies against hateful activities, as our coalition of 55 civil rights groups has been urging for more than a year. While Zuckerberg’s affirmation that Facebook’s policy will reflect that there ‘is no newsworthy exemption for content that incites violence or suppresses voting,’ even when it comes from a politician, we need the company to act to remove — not just flag — anyone who engages in it.
“The victims of hateful activity and voter suppression online are often people of color, religious minorities, and immigrants. A zero-tolerance policy for hateful activity, no matter who perpetuates it, must also include the removal of the more than 100 white supremacists who still have an active presence on Facebook. In holding true to their promise, we look forward to a complete purge of these hate mongers and decisive action against any politician who encourages violence or spreads election misinformation.
“Over the past year, we have urged not just piecemeal changes but a civil rights framework from which Facebook would make all of their decisions to protect underrepresented voices on the platform. While Zuckerberg has not taken action to build this into his company’s approach to protecting diverse users, we were heartened to hear him address the final civil rights audit to be released next week, and we look forward to his response on commitments following those findings.”
Said Henry Fernandez, co-founder of Change the Terms and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress:
“Zuckerberg’s announcement reiterates things we thought they were already doing. The exception is they plan to flag but keep up some dangerous content from elected officials. But they will continue to rapidly push out dangerous information from elected officials across their platform.”
Change the Terms is a coalition calling on Big Tech to institute and enforce service agreement prohibitions on hateful activities to protect public safety and respect diverse voices. The coalition includes more than 50 civil rights, human rights, technology policy and consumer protection organizations dedicated to encouraging social media sites, payment processors and chat services to commit to fair, effective and transparent rules and practices for content moderation.