January 28, 2021
Issue: Corporate Accountability
Facebook Oversight Board ‘Bent Over Backwards’ to Protect Anti-Muslim Hate
Washington, DC — Today, Facebook’s Oversight Board announced its first-ever decisions, including one protecting and reinstating a dangerous, anti-Muslim post in Myanmar. In this decision, the Board made the absurd distinction that a post showing images of a dead Muslim child and saying “those male Muslims have something wrong in their mindset” is “protected under Facebook’s Community Standards and does not reach the level of hate speech.” The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Spokesperson Eric Naing:
“Facebook’s Oversight Board bent over backwards to excuse hate in Myanmar—a country where Facebook has been complicit in a genocide against Muslims. It’s impossible to square Mark Zuckerberg’s claim that Facebook does not profit from hate with the board’s decision to protect a post showing images of a dead Muslim child with a caption stating that ‘Muslims have something wrong in their mindset.’ It is clear that the Oversight Board is here to launder responsibility for Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. Instead of taking meaningful action to curb dangerous hate speech on the platform, Facebook punted responsibility to a third party board that used laughable technicalities to protect anti-Muslim hate content that contributes to genocide.”
Muslim Advocates helped lead to call for the company to undergo a civil rights audit, is a member of the Real Facebook Oversight Board, the Change the Terms coalition and recently published a report outlining Facebook role in enabling anti-Muslim hate and violence around the world.
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.