The New York Times has reported, according to an independent audit commissioned, Facebook has yet not done enough to fight discrimination on its platform. Also, some of its decisions were setbacks for civil rights. The findings of auditors’ will likely add another layer of pressure to the company.
After the moment started, the company has been already boycotted by as many as 900 advertisers over its promotion of hate speech. This even includes some of the major brands such as Coca-Cola.
According to the Times, which said it had obtained a prepublication report, the auditors wrote, “Many in the civil rights community have become disheartened, frustrated and angry after years of engagement where they implored the company to do more to advance equality and fight discrimination, while also safeguarding free expression.”
Facebook commissioned a former director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s legislative office, Laura Murphy, to lead the audit in 2018 of its civil rights policies. It aimed to respond to a range of criticisms over issues such as data privacy, incitement of violence, voter suppression, and lack of transparency in political advertising.
Facebook’s spokesperson said to the audit “has been a deep analysis of how we can strengthen and advance civil rights at every level of our company – but it is the beginning of the journey, not the end.”
He added “What has become increasingly clear is that we have a long way to go. As hard as it has been to have our shortcomings exposed by experts, it has undoubtedly been a really important process for our company.”
According to the auditors, “Facebook had been too willing to exempt politicians from abiding by its rules, allowing them to spread misinformation, harmful and divisive rhetoric, and even calls to violence.”
Facebook has been very casual when it came to taking steps to political speech compared to its many rivals. Notably, in May, it justifies the post by President Donald Trump untouched, unlike its rival Twitter who flagged as an incitement to violence.