NAACP Demands Meeting With Facebook CEO to Discuss Hate Speech
(Bloomberg) -- The NAACP civil-rights organization is demanding a meeting with Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg following revelations that the company is letting the vast majority of hate speech on its platform go unchecked.
The call for a meeting with Zuckerberg follows the release of thousands of pages of documents by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen. They exposed internal discussions about content moderation efforts, how the company treats high-profile accounts differently than other users, and the mental impact its photo-sharing app Instagram has on young people.
Haugen discussed the documents during a Senate subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, adding to the already-intense scrutiny surrounding the world’s largest social media company. One study Haugen uncovered showed that the company took action on as little as 3% to 5% of hate speech on Facebook, and on less than 1% of content classified as “violence and incitement,” according to “60 Minutes.”
“Vaccine hesitation, political violence and white supremacy are rampant,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement. “Profiting on hate and disinformation is sickening and evil.”
Facebook has said the statistic cited refers to hate speech that is automatically removed and doesn’t include content that is taken down after human review or that is demoted. The company has also said that hate speech represents well under 1% of content on its platform.
The NAACP was one of several civil rights groups, including Color of Change and the Anti-Defamation League, that organized an advertiser boycott of Facebook last summer, citing its perceived failure to curb hate speech on its platform. After that boycott began, Zuckerberg met with representatives from those groups to discuss how it polices its platform, but civil rights groups said the CEO didn’t take their concerns seriously.
“We urged Mark Zuckerberg to address these issues over a year ago, but in our meeting, he simply danced around the severity of his company’s failures, showing no interest in taking action,” Johnson said.
“We’ve since experienced an insurrection, election disinformation has brainwashed a significant portion of the country, and Covid falsehoods are spreading as rapidly as new variants are,” he said.
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