Muslim civil rights group sues Facebook over hate speech


A civil rights group sues Facebook over hate speech.

A civil rights group is suing Facebook and its executives, saying CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Mark Zuckerberg made “false and misleading” statements to Congress when he mentioned the enormous social community removes hate speech and different materials that violates its guidelines.

The lawsuit, filed by Muslim Advocates in Washington, D.C., Superior Court on Thursday, claims Zuckerberg and different senior executives “have engaged in a coordinated marketing campaign to persuade the general public, elected representatives, federal officers, and non-profit leaders within the nation’s capital that Facebook is a secure product.” 


Facebook, the lawsuit alleges, has been repeatedly alerted to hate speech and calls to violence on its platform and finished nothing or little or no.

Making false and misleading statements about eradicating hateful and dangerous content material violates the District of Columbia’s consumer-protection regulation and its bar on fraud, the lawsuit says.

“Every day, ordinary people are bombarded with harmful content in violation of Facebook’s own policies on hate speech, bullying, harassment, dangerous organizations, and violence,” the lawsuit says. 

“Hateful, anti-Muslim attacks are especially pervasive on Facebook.” 

In a press release, Facebook mentioned it doesn’t permit hate speech on its platform and mentioned it recurrently works with specialists, non-profits, and stakeholders to assist make certain Facebook is a secure place for everybody, recognising anti-Muslim rhetoric can take totally different types. The firm primarily based in Menlo Park, California, mentioned it has invested in synthetic intelligence applied sciences aimed toward eradicating hate speech and proactively detects 97 per cent of what it removes.

Facebook declined to remark past the assertion, which didn’t deal with the lawsuit’s allegations that it has not eliminated hate speech and anti-Muslim networks from its platform even after it was notified of their existence. For instance, the lawsuit cites analysis by Elon University professor Megan Squire, who printed analysis about anti-Muslim teams on Facebook and alerted the corporate.

According to the lawsuit, Facebook didn’t take away the teams — nevertheless it did change how outdoors lecturers can entry its platform in order that the sort of analysis Squire did could be “not possible apart from if finished by Facebook workers.”

Facebook’s hate speech coverage prohibits concentrating on an individual or group with “dehumanising speech or imagery,” requires violence, references to subhumanity and inferiority in addition to generalisations that state inferiority. The coverage applies to assaults on the premise of race, faith, nationwide origin, incapacity, non secular affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, intercourse, gender id and critical illness.

But in a single instance from April 25, 2018, Squire reported to Facebook a bunch referred to as “Purge Worldwide,” in response to the lawsuit.

The group’s description reads: “This is an anti Islamic group A Place to share details about what is occurring in your a part of the world.”

Facebook responded that it will not take away the group or the content material. The lawsuit cites different examples of teams with names like “Death to Murdering Islamic Muslim Cult Members” and “Filth of Islam” that Facebook didn’t take away regardless of being notified, regardless that Facebook coverage prohibits “reference or comparability to filth” on the premise of faith.

In the latter case Facebook did take away some posts from the group, however not the group itself.

The lawsuit additionally cites an exception Facebook made to its coverage for former President Donald Trump, for whom Facebook made an exception to its guidelines when he posted as a candidate in 2016 about banning all Muslims from getting into the US.

Zuckerberg and different social media executives have repeatedly testified earlier than Congress about how they fight extremism, hate and misinformation on their platforms. Zuckerberg advised the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the problem is “nuanced.” 

“Any system can make mistakes” in moderating dangerous materials, he mentioned.

The plaintiffs search a jury trial and damages of USD 1,500 per violation.

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