Scientists call on Facebook to consider stricter policies on misinformation.
More than 140 high-profile researchers funded by Mark Zuckerberg are urging Facebook not to let president Trump spread ‘misinformation and incendiary statements’ amid protests over racial injustice.
Through a letter on Saturday, they asked Zuckerberg to “consider stricter policies on misinformation and incendiary language that harms people”, especially during the current turmoil over racial injustice, calling the spread of “deliberate misinformation and divisive language” contrary to the researchers’ goals of using technology to prevent and eradicate disease, improve childhood education and reform the criminal justice system.
The letter objects specifically to Zuckerberg’s decision not to act on a post by Trump that stated “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. The letter’s authors called the post “a clear statement of inciting violence.” According to The Guardian, some Facebook employees have even publicly objected to Zuckerberg’s refusal to take down or label misleading or incendiary posts by Trump and other politicians. But Zuckerberg has so far refused.
Last Friday, Zuckerberg said in a post that he would review “potential options for handling violating or partially-violating content aside from the binary leave-it-up or take-it-down decisions”. However, he added, “I worry that this approach has a risk of leading us to editorialize on content we don’t like even if it doesn’t violate our policies.”