‘It’s time for significant changes’: civil rights groups call for Facebook leaders to step down

Dozens of civil rights groups are calling for Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to step down from Facebook’s board of directors following the things they referred to as numerous send out role in “generating bigotry and hatred towards vulnerable communities”.

In formed delivered to Zuckerberg, the company’s CEO, on Monday night, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Muslim Advocates, Equality Labs and were among above 30 groups demanding a restructuring in the board to boost accountability of senior leadership inside the wake newest scandals.

“It’s become abundantly clear that, as currently constituted, your leadership team is unable to adequately address the valid concerns with the civil rights community,” the letter stated. “It is now here we are at significant alterations in, don’t just your policies, but will also your leadership structure.”

In their demand better oversight, the cited a 14 November New York Times are convinced that shown that this company hired a PR firm that attemptedto discredit its critics by claiming we were holding agents of the philanthropist States, an antisemitic narrative.

“In the facial skin of clear evidence that Facebook had been useful to broadcast viral propaganda and inspire deadly bigoted campaigns, you can actually leadership consistently either looked the other way, or actively worked to lobby against meaningful regulation, shifted public opinion against its allies, and personally attacked its critics,” the letter states. “Though Facebook has gotten significant time, opportunity along with the advantage of input from experts and advocacy groups to battle the down sides for the platform, your business chosen to target civil rights groups and our allies instead of changing how you will work.”

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In a session call following publication of your Times report, Zuckerberg claimed ignorance on the company’s relationship using the PR firm behind the Soros attacks, plus claimed that chief operating officer Sandberg weren’t involved. Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s outgoing head of communications and policy, later took responsibility for hiring Definers Public Affairs.

Zuckerberg referenced the establishment connected with an “independent body” that “will have real teeth and power and will also be transparent within the decisions that they’re making, and in case I need to overrule that independent body, i then will not be able to”, but what that means as he controls about 60% of the company’s voting shares is unclear.

In with regard to with Zuckerberg and Sandberg to relinquish their board seats, the civil rights groups are calling for the board for making three more board seats “to diversify the board”, to appoint an impartial and permanent civil rights ombudsman to your board, also to fire Joel Kaplan, their vice-president of global public policy.

The groups will also be demanding that Facebook apologize for all organizations targeted by Definers Public Affairs and release all documents designed for the PR firm.

Facebook couldn’t immediately answer a get comment, but , Sandberg released a nine-page update within the company’s civil rights audit, which has been undertaken in May from the longtime civil rights leader Laura Murphy.

“Facebook is sold on working with leading US civil rights organizations to improve and advance civil rights on our service,” Sandberg said from a statement. “They’ve raised various important concerns, exactly what grateful with regards to candor and guidance. We realize that individuals need to do more: to pay attention, look deeper and get it done to respect fundamental rights.”

In the update, Murphy applauded the business for producing changes prior to when the US midterm elections, including supporting voter engagement, cracking concerning fake accounts, partnering with voting rights and election protection groups, as well as dedicated reviewers to react in regular basis to content suggesting possible voter suppression.

But Murphy noted that work well remained around ahead, including making sure any changes made is systemic.

Madihha Ahussain, special counsel for anti-Muslim bigotry at Muslim Advocates, one of several civil rights groups to sign the letter, said the fact that update “makes clear that Facebook has been doing little to meaningfully address the bigotry and discrimination that pervades its platform” and Sandberg’s statement “indicates deficiencies in if you know, after years and several years of abuse, significant reforms are urgently needed now”.

“We prepare our letter demanding serious changes to Facebook’s board,” Ahussain said. “The board just isn’t in the position to hold its management accountable, this doesn’t happen match the demographics of its user community, and this doesn’t understand civil rights and high reforms into it are necessary to protect vulnerable communities.”


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