September 27, 2021

Report: Facebook Dismissive of Censorship, Abuse Concerns, Rights Groups Allege

From Reuters:

Nearly 80 rights groups on Wednesday accused Facebook of “racially biased censorship” and failing to be more transparent about its removal policies and cooperation with law enforcement, adding to criticism the company has faced in recent months over its management of content on its network of 1.8 billion users.

The sharp rebuke, sent in response to a December letter from Senior Vice President Joel Kaplan, reflected increasing impatience among advocacy groups that say Facebook has inadequately addressed their concerns despite repeated promises of action from senior executives.

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In their letter, the rights groups said their organizations had experienced an “uneven application” of Facebook’s community standards and drawbacks that come with relying on users to report abusive content. Racial justice activists routinely have content that discusses racism or protests removed, they said, while harassment and threats targeting users on the basis of race, religion and sexual orientation are “thriving” on Facebook.

“This pattern of censorship represents a double standard, one that seems to be addressed only through direct activist intervention or significant media attention,” the groups wrote.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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