Washington, DC — On Thursday, reporters at The Guardian broke a major story about how a shadow network of far-right Facebook pages have been spreading misinformation and anti-Muslim bigotry aimed at Muslim politicians like Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, among others. As The Guardian notes, these pages have been operating “with relative impunity” until Facebook was contacted by the reporters and the company removed some of the pages and related accounts.
Muslim Advocates has for years pressured Facebook to address its anti-Muslim problem and was one of several civil rights groups that recently met with Mark Zuckerberg at his home to discuss this issue. The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Special Counsel for Anti-Muslim Bigotry Madihha Ahussain on this breaking news story:
“It’s shocking but not surprising that Facebook allowed a shadow network of right-wing propaganda pages to target and threaten Muslims with hate and disinformation. This is part of a longstanding pattern of Facebook allowing dangerous, anti-Muslim bigotry to spread on its platforms. Once again, the company failed to take any action until after the damage was done and, even worse, they have once again failed to acknowledge the real problem. Facebook’s hate-for-profit business model is a threat to the safety of American Muslims and other targeted communities. Immediate action is needed from Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg to stop the spread of hate before more people are targeted.”
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.