August 20, 2019
Issue: Corporate Accountability
Muslim Advocates Blasts Pandering Facebook Bias Report
Facebook Bows to Conservative Bullying While Permitting White Nationalist Rhetoric
WASHINGTON, DC — The following is a statement issued today from Muslim Advocates Special Counsel for Anti-Muslim Bigotry Madihha Ahussain on the release of Facebook’s anti-conservative bias report:
“Facebook’s anti-conservative bias report is a smokescreen masking the reality that the company continues to allow violent, white nationalist content to thrive on its platforms.
The idea that Facebook harbors a bias against conservatives has always been an unsubstantiated, cynical ploy by President Trump and his allies to bully the company into giving dangerous hate speech a pass. The bias report’s disingenuous attacks on groups that work to combat hate, like the Southern Poverty Law Center, show how this strategy works. If anything, Facebook has gone out of its way to appease the president and drag its feet when it comes to shutting down the racist, dehumanizing rhetoric that he and his allies continue to spread on the company’s platforms.
Facebook’s bad faith has been apparent ever since the company allowed John Kyl, a man with a long history of supporting anti-Muslim bigots, to resume work on the bias report after he left to temporarily serve in the U.S. Senate. When Kyl was initially chosen to author the report, Facebook responded to complaints from Muslim Advocates and others about Kyl’s role by claiming they were unaware of his background. Top leadership has been fully aware of his bigoted record for over a year and yet he still was allowed to return to the project. Additionally, Facebook has accepted over a million dollars just this year from President Trump’s campaign to run ads calling immigrants ‘invaders’—chilling, dehumanizing words that mirror the twisted manifestos of the Christchurch and El Paso shooters.
President Trump and his allies in Congress and the media need Facebook to continue allowing them to wage campaigns of hate for political and financial gain. Instead of spending time responding to conservative crocodile tears, Facebook must prioritize addressing hateful rhetoric that leads to violence such as the mass attacks killing 22 in El Paso and 51 in Christchurch. To do this, the company must adopt a permanent, board and staff-level civil rights infrastructure—and not just an ad hoc working group—that will focus on halting the spread of deadly, white nationalist rhetoric on its platforms.”
- Muslim Advocates’ statement on White House social media summit
- Muslim Advocates’ statement on Facebook’s civil rights audit update
- Muslim Advocates’ statement on Facebook’s white nationalist and white separatist content policy
- Muslim Advocates’ statement on the appointment of Jon Kyl
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.