‘Weaponized’ Facebook fails to protect civil rights, audit report saysJuly 9, 2020
Facebook Inc’s decisions to allow controversial posts by President Donald Trump established a “terrible precedent” that could allow the platform to be “weaponized to suppress voting,” an external civil rights audit found on Wednesday.
The report, which Facebook commissioned two years ago, said the social network has not done enough to protect users from discrimination, falsehoods and incitement to violence, adding to pressure on the company in the midst of an advertiser boycott.
The findings come as more than 900 advertisers, including major brands such as Coca-Cola Co and Unilever Plc, have joined a boycott started by major U.S. civil rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP, to pressure Facebook to take concrete steps to block hate speech.
Facebook has taken a hands-off approach to political speech compared to rivals, notably leaving untouched posts by Trump in recent weeks which were flagged by its rival Twitter Inc for falsehoods and incitement of violence.