To Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg:

Let’s recap: You’ll go to an elite school to discuss “free speech”. You’ll go on Fox News — which spews propaganda for the Trump administration, incites violence with hate speech and spreads false information. You’ll cave to pressure from right-wing pundits to fund a bogus “conservative bias” report that found no evidence of anti-conservative bias on your platform.

But you have refused to face leading civil-rights advocates to hear concerns that your platform must do a better job of protecting the lives of people of color, women, religious minorities, LGBTQIA+ people and other marginalized communities.

In your speech at Georgetown University, you said that “Pulling back on free speech isn’t the answer and often serves to hurt the minority views we seek to protect.” In other words, you were cloaking yourself in First Amendment principles because you didn’t want to acknowledge the need to confront hate on your platform. And this simplistic vision of free speech flies in the face of the lived experiences of people of color, women, religious minorities and other marginalized communities — studies show that allowing “more speech” to fight hateful speech is a flawed approach.1

When people are harassed, bullied or attacked online, it silences us. Online platforms have become a favorite destination for violent movements to spread hateful ideologies, harass, intimidate, threaten, recruit, organize deadly attacks, raise money, and normalize racism, sexism, bigotry, transphobia, homophobia, Islamophobia and xenophobia.

Facebook’s reach is enormous and with that influence comes a responsibility to ensure that the platform isn’t used to advance hateful activity that puts public safety at risk. All communities have standards and rules. It’s time for Facebook to ensure its community standards protect its users.

Do better. Hate speech undermines the free expression of women, people of color, immigrants and religious minorities. Don’t let Facebook be a tool of oppression. Adopt the Change the Terms coalition’s model policies and ensure that “free speech” on your platform isn’t guaranteed only to a privileged few.

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    When Mark Zuckerberg talks about "freedom of speech" whose speech is he concerned with?

    Tell Facebook: Do Better. Don't Be a Tool of Oppression.

    During a speech to a group of Georgetown students and D.C. elites, Mark Zuckerberg once again made it clear that he doesn’t care about protecting vulnerable communities.

    He told the world that there are people “who would prioritize getting the political outcomes they want over more people getting heard” and that “as long as we all commit to being open and making space for more perspectives, I think we're going to make progress.”

    But whose perspectives is Zuckerberg listening to? He’s met with racist right-wing conspiracy peddlers like Tucker Carlson and Ben Shapiro, and he’s gone on Fox News — a network that spews pro-Trump propaganda, incites violence with white-supremacist hate speech and spreads false information.

    But he’s failed to meet with leading civil- and digital-rights advocates — including Free Press — to hear concerns about how Facebook must do a better job of protecting the lives of people of color, women, LGBTQIA+ people and other marginalized communities.

    During Zuckerberg’s speech, he cloaked himself in First Amendment principles because he didn’t want to acknowledge the need to confront hate on his platform. His simplistic vision of free speech is far from the lived realities so many people experience.

    Whose speech is promoted and protected depends on who’s writing the rules. And until Facebook adopts the Change the Terms recommendations Free Press and others developed, the company will continue to prioritize the speech of people who look like Zuckerberg — no matter how hateful and harmful that speech may be.

    This cannot stand. All people deserve freedom of expression, including women, people of color, immigrants, religious minorities, and everyone else whose rights are chilled when Zuckerberg lets hate and misinformation run rampant on his platform.

    Ask Zuckerberg: When you talk about “freedom of speech,” whose speech are you concerned with? Tell Facebook to adopt the Change the Terms coalition’s model policies.

     

    1. “Deplatforming Works: Let’s Get on With It,” Hope Not Hate, April 10, 2019