On the evening of Monday, Nov. 4, Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera and other civil rights leaders met with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at his Palo Alto home. Click here to see examples of anti-Muslim content on Facebook that Farhana shared with Zuckerberg at the meeting (WARNING: violent, offensive content)
The following is a message from Farhana reflecting on the meeting and what must be done to protect Muslims and other vulnerable communities from the hate and bigotry that keeps finding a home on Facebook:
I’m on my way back to DC from a meeting at Mark Zuckerberg’s home in California. I accepted his invitation to dinner because Facebook has an anti-Muslim problem and he needed to hear directly from our community. I also told him he can fix it.
At his home in Palo Alto, I and several civil rights leaders sat at a large dining table. As the only Muslim in the room, I felt the weight of responsibility on my shoulders. This was a historic moment for our community. I had to speak up about the pain and suffering that Facebook is causing Muslim communities, here in the United States and around the world.
I shared with Mr. Zuckerberg that Muslim communities, which represent 1% of the U.S. population and nearly one-quarter of the world’s population, are regularly harassed and terrorized by the platform. Facebook has been used to organize hate rallies outside our mosques and community gatherings, to perpetuate anti-Muslim lies by politicians, and has contributed to genocide and mob violence targeting Muslim communities in Myanmar and other countries across the world.
Every comment, every click, and every scroll on Facebook enables this activity.
For over seven years, Muslim Advocates has been urging Facebook to take responsibility for the hate and violence that its platform perpetuates. We’ve seen modest improvements but not the substantial change that is needed to remove dangerous and dehumanizing content from the platform — for good.
Facebook has boasted that it detects and removes 99% of the ISIS and Al Qaeda-related terror content before anyone even sees it.
That’s not how Facebook treats anti-Muslim and white nationalist content that threatens vulnerable communities. Facebook has the know-how; what’s missing is the will to use that know-how to protect our communities.
The conversation was off-the-record, so I cannot tell you what Mark said, but I can share with you this: we are at a crucial moment. We need to leverage this opportunity to keep up the pressure on Facebook to act and stop hate actors from abusing the platform.
Executive Director, Muslim Advocates