Dingell to Facebook: Eradicate Anti-Muslim Content On Your Platform
By Alan Minsky, Executive Director – Progressive Democrats of America
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2020
CONTACT: Dan Black – Dan.Black@mail.house.gov
Raises urgent concerns of Facebook perpetuating violence against Muslim community
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) today urged immediate action from Facebook to eradicate anti-Muslim bigotry from the platform and demanded Mark Zuckerberg implement six measures to combat bigoted content. In a letter signed by 29 colleagues, Dingell cited instances of anti-Muslim content on Facebook and recent reports showing the role of the platform in inciting violence against the Muslim community.
“Facebook cannot celebrate the success of its platform, while ignoring its role in elevating the dangerous, deadly content targeting Muslim people,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “In Christchurch, New Zealand, a terrorist attack that stole the lives of fifty-one Muslims worshipping in their mosque was streamed live on Facebook around the world. But in the ensuing weeks and months, Facebook failed to offer a single policy intentionally designed to eradicate hateful, anti-Muslim content. Nearly two years later, it’s time for Facebook to demonstrate that this company recognizes the life and death consequences of their lack of action.”
In her letter to Mark Zuckerberg, Dingell asked for Facebook to implement the following measures:
- Form a working group comprised of senior staff focused on anti-Muslim bigotry issues and responsible for coordinating work within the company to address hate groups, tropes, bigoted content, and anti-discrimination training.
- Enforce hate content and hate group policies in a way that ensures militias and white supremacists cannot use event and group pages to terrorize targeted communities.
- Committing to an independent third-party review of the company’s role in enabling anti-Muslim violence, genocide and internment.
- Strive towards and commit to a 100 percent proactive detection and removal of anti-Muslim content and all other forms of hate before it is even seen.
- Commit to regular anti-discrimination training for Facebook’s entire staff world-wide.
- Training key staff on civil rights issues and common words, phrases, tropes or visuals used by hate actors to dehumanize and demonize Muslims.
“We thank Congresswoman Dingell and her colleagues for holding Facebook accountable for the harm it has inflicted on American Muslims here and Muslims abroad,” said Scott Simpson, Public Advocacy Director of Muslim Advocates. “Just last week, we learned that not only did the Christchurch shooter use Facebook to livestream his slaughter, he also was a member of multiple anti-Muslim hate groups on the platform. Anti-Muslim hate has consequences and Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg must finally take action to stop it from proliferating on their platform.”
Dingell’s letter was signed by Debbie Dingell, Rashida Tlaib, André Carson. Carolyn B. Maloney, Ilhan Omar, Jahana Hayes, Max Rose, Barbara Lee, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Bobby L. Rush, Daniel T. Kildee, Jared Huffman, Kathy Castor, Gwen S. Moore, Lauren Underwood, Jan Schakowsky, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Pocan, Grace Meng, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Darren Soto, Donald S. Beyer Jr., James P. McGovern, Peter Welch, Jamie Raskin, Pramila Jayapal, Yvette D. Clarke, Raúl M. Grijalva, Earl Blumenauer, and Nydia M. Velázquez. Additionally, her letter has received the support of the following organizations: CODEPINK, Common Defense, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Islamic Networks Group, Jetpac, Jewish Voice for Peace Action, Justice for Muslims Collective, MomsRising, National Iranian American Council, Peace Action, Progressive Democrats of America, Project South, ReThinking Foreign Policy, and National Network for Arab American Communities.
To read the full letter, please click here.