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