Rights group leaders ‘disappointed’ after meeting Facebook CEO

The civil right groups leaders in the US were left disappointed after meeting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg over their concerns related to the spread of hateful content on their platforms.

Sandberg, Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives met online racial justice group Color of Change, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and others on Tuesday who started the #StopHateforProfit campaign in June that has seen over 400 advertisers leaving Facebook in recent days.

Following the conversation, leaders from four of the organisations called the discussion an unequivocal disappointment.

“Today we saw little and heard just about nothing,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said, adding that Facebook failed to apply “energy and urgency” to issues like hate and misinformation.

“Met with Mark Zuckerberg and @Facebook leadership today. It was a disappointment. They have had our demands for years and yet it is abundantly clear that they are not yet ready to address the vitriolic hate on their platform,” tweeted Rashad Robinson, President, ColorOfChange.

According to media reports, Free Press co-CEO Jessica J. Gonzalez was “deeply disappointed” while NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson accused the social network of being “more interested in dialogue than action”.

Several top-notch brands like Coca Cola, adidas, Walgreens and Starbucks pulled their ads from the platform.

Sandberg on Tuesday pledged to root out hateful posts, saying the social network has to get better at finding and removing hateful content.

“Facebook stands firmly against hate. Being a platform where everyone can make their voice heard is core to our mission, but that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for people to spread hate. It’s not,” she said in a statement.