Liberal advocacy group urges Facebook to crack down harder on right-wing misinformation


The liberal women’s group UltraViolet said Monday it met with Facebook last week and urged the company to implement more restrictions on groups spreading ‘right-wing’ disinformation on their platform.

UltraViolet said it met with Facebook director of external affairs Lindsay Elin about the liberal group’s concerns regarding hate and violence directed at women through the platform.

“During the meeting, UltraViolet urged Facebook to implement stricter policies that ban groups who spread disinformation and promote violence—and as an immediate step specifically implementing a policy to protect poll workers from hate and violence by registering poll workers similarly to how the platform registers journalists and candidates for political office,” said Ultraviolet in a statement. “UltraViolet warned that as threats of violence proliferate against election workers, many of whom are women of color, on platforms like Facebook, and as the right-wing ramps up racist, gender-based attacks against Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the action needed by Facebook is more urgent than ever.”

The women’s group also said its decision to lobby aggressively for Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s inclusion on the Facebook board of directors was a mistake and UltraViolet is urging its supporters to sign their name to a letter pressuring Ms. Sandberg to take action.

Facebook executives like Sheryl Sandberg and other stakeholders are well aware that extremists use the platform to spread disinformation and harass women,” said Bridget Todd, UltraViolet spokesperson, in a statement. “It’s no secret that Facebook was used to orchestrate white supremacist counterprotests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and to ameliorate a plot harming Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. How much more is it going to take?”

The liberal push for Facebook to take more aggressive action comes on the heels of a similar call from supporters of presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden. Bill Russo, an adviser to Mr. Biden, criticized Facebook in a series of tweets last week about what he and Democrats view as Facebook’s unwillingness to stop the spread of misinformation online. Mr. Russo’s tweets ripping Facebook are no longer available on Twitter.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify on Tuesday about his platform’s handling of 2020 election-related content.

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