More than 140 scientists including members from Stanford, Harvard and others who are backed by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative have sent a message to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking him to competently implement the social media platform’s policies against dangerous language.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is the philanthropic organization established in 2015 by Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan his wife, concentrates on using technology to solve social hurdles, including criminal justice reform. It is an entirely different organization from Facebook.
The scientists stated that permitting the US President to use Facebook “to spread both misinformation and incendiary statements” was not only a breach of Facebook’s policies but “directly antithetical” to CZI’s goal of creating a “more inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone.”
“We were disconcerted to see that Facebook has not followed their own policies in regards to President Trump. For example, his statement ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’ is a clear statement of inciting violence.”
– Excerpts from the letter
Zuckerberg replied on May 29th that the social media platform would not take any step against Trump’s “looting” post, even after Twitter flagged a similar post for “glorifying violence.” Zuckerberg accepted that people were “upset” by the choice, “but our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause an imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies.”
That decision provoked Facebook workers to conduct a virtual walkout in protest, and Zuckerberg spoke late Friday that Facebook would “review” its policies on speech that encourages violence.
A spokesperson for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative reemphasized that CZI is separate from Facebook, with separate offices, and a separate mission. “We are grateful for our staff, partners and grantees in this work and we respect their right to voice their opinions, including on Facebook policies,” the spokesperson stated.
Facebook did is yet to come up with a reply to the request for comment made by various media sources.