Over the course of five years, Facebook executives received numerous warnings that event sites were being used to organize hate rallies and other far-right gatherings that encouraged violent threats against others, according to a leading US civil rights organization.
Muslim Advocates, a national civil rights group committed to stopping internet bigotry, said in an email that it had warned senior Facebook officials about events that have been organized at least ten times since 2015 for organizing violence on theirs Enter platform. These warnings were sometimes issued in person at small meetings at Facebook headquarters and once during a dinner with CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The group that a Timeline of interactions with FacebookThe top officials repeatedly ignored their warnings, allowing militias and white supremacist groups to publicize events targeting communities about religion and ethnicity.
Pile of sugar told his staff last month according to BuzzFeed newsthat an “operational bug” was responsible for the moderators being unable to remove a militia events page that users were encouraging to bring with them Guns at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The page has been tagged at least 455 times by users.
A 17-year-old white vigilante killed two people during the clashes in Kenosha after traveling to the state from Illinois. Facebook has denied the militia incident is in any way linked to the shooter whom the police were allowed to leave after attempting to enter custody.
Scott Simpson, Public Advocacy Director of Muslim Advocates, said his group did so warned Facebook again and again that itThe event pages were “armed” by white nationalists and militia groups, particularly against American Muslims.
“The horror in Kenosha is just one of the many tragic consequences of Facebook’s failure to heed our many warnings,” Simpson said. “Before more lives are lost, Facebook must act now by banning white nationalists, hate groups and militias from using the event pages and banning any event page that contains a call to arms.”
Facebook did not respond to a request for a comment.
Muslim Advocates is a member of Change the Terms, a coalition of more than 50 civil rights organizations that have urged Facebook to adopt stricter guidelines against the promotion of racial threats and other hateful content.
Gizmodo reported Last year, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, met with Change the Terms during a “town hall” where cameras weren’t allowed and only a single reporter was allowed. Sandberg refused to make any promises when he was pressured to recruit and operate white supremacist groups on Facebook.
Muslim lawyers said they attended another small-group meeting with Sandberg in October 2017. Sandberg was shown pictures of Facebook events promoted by white nationalists that targeted mosques across the country, as well as photos of protesters carrying guns. “Nothing was done,” said the group.
The group’s director, Farhana Khera, attended an event Dinner at Zuckerberg in November, when he was pressured by several participants to address white supremacists who are organizing on his platform. Muslim attorneys said at the time they left the meeting, “hopeful”, convinced that Zuckerberg had shown genuine interest in the subject. But the participants were also careful.
Zuckerberg had also recently had dinner with Tucker Carlson, who pointed out on Fox News that white supremacy was “just kidding.”