As Facebook comes under fire for its alleged censorship and tracking of activists and protesters, a coalition of more than 70 groups and individuals has demanded the social media behemoth “clarify its policy on removing video and other content, especially human rights documentation, at the request of government actors.”
A letter (pdf)—whose signatories include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), 350.org, Color of Change, and the Indigenous Environmental Network—sent Monday cites recent incidents including:
- the deactivation of Korryn Gaines’ account,
- the removal of iconic photographs,
- reports of suppression of Indigenous resistance,
- continued reports of Black activists’ content being removed,
- and the disabling of Palestinian journalists’ accounts following your meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister.
“These instances of censorship clearly point to the gaps in Facebook’s automation and content guidelines,” said Nicole Carty of the consumer watchdog SumOfUs, which coordinated the letter. “In order to mitigate these issues, Facebook must recognize these broader policy failures as human rights and free speech issues. From Black Lives Matter in the United States to journalists in Palestine, Facebook’s lack of transparency has resulted in reports of censorship on almost a weekly basis, which proves that this is not an individualized ‘glitch’ but a broader policy problem.”