Twenty state attorneys general on Wednesday sent a letter to Facebook calling on the platform to "take additional steps to prevent Facebook from being used to spread disinformation and hate and to facilitate discrimination."
The letter states that “[p]rivate parties, organized groups and public officials continue to use Facebook to spread misinformation and project messages of hate against different groups of Americans.”
The letter added: “Facebook has—on occasion—taken action to address violations of its terms of service in cases where we have helped elevate our constituents’ concerns.”
It noted Facebook has responded with a redress process that is “slow, frustrating, and ineffective.”
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal led the charge.
“The hate-filled messaging and disinformation we’re highlighting in this letter is typically aimed at individuals because of what they look like, where they come from, what gender identity they claim, and what they believe,” said Grewal. “It is divisive and dehumanizing, and we are committed to combating it at every turn. Facebook’s own audit revealed significant shortcomings in its approach to keeping this kind of content off its platforms, promoting civil rights and discouraging discrimination. The company has espoused a desire to do better, so today we’re calling on them to ‘walk the walk.’ Facebook has ample resources to do far more than it has been doing.”
The letter comes after the #StopHateForProfit campaign organized by the NAACP & ADL ended on July 31.
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of ADL (the Anti-Defamation League), which is one of the groups leading Stop Hate for Profit, told FOX Business: "Last month, more than 1,100 companies and 100 nonprofits, labor groups, and religious organizations sent a clear message to Facebook’s leadership: It’s time to stop profiting from hate. We're proud of what we started, and that others have now picked this up as their own cause. We applaud the 20 State Attorney Generals who signed this letter calling on Facebook to act strongly against hate and disinformation on its platform.
He added: "Facebook’s strategy for years has been to kick the can on making meaningful changes that seriously address hate and disinformation. With the Stop Hate for Profit movement, America's civil society has made clear that it's done with Facebook’s foot dragging. The longer Facebook continues to delay and take half-measures, they more they will find a united front calling for change. This movement will only grow bigger and bolder over time."
A Facebook spokesperson previously told FOX Business that the company only makes "policy changes based on principles, not revenue pressures."
"We take these matters very seriously and respect the feedback from our partners. We’re making real progress keeping hate speech off our platform, and we don't benefit from this kind of content," the spokesperson said. "But as we've said, we make policy changes based on principles, not revenue pressures."