Senators Press Zuckerberg On How Meta Plans To Protect Elections From Disinformation

Facebook came under intense criticism from the U.S. government over the spread of violent rhetoric during and after the 2020 election.

Several U.S. senators sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg with questions on Facebook’s role in protecting democracy, including upcoming elections, from misinformation.

In the Tuesday letter, lawmakers said the social media platform played a role in the spread of “divisive, hateful, and violent online activity” during the 2020 presidential election. The letter also stated “nearly a quarter of Facebook users reported seeing hate speech ahead of the election and that more than half reported seeing content that made them wary of discussing political issues in public.”

Those who signed the letter — including Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) — asked Zuckerberg to respond to several inquiries by Jan. 7, including questions on why Facebook decided to disable controls to help stop the spread of disinformation after the election, and why Facebook disbanded its Civic Integrity Team.

In an open letter to <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/facebook-meta-name-change-twitter-mark-zuckerberg_n_617af61ce4b066de4f6d9791" target="_blank" role="link" class=" js-entry-link cet-internal-link" data-vars-item-name="Meta" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="61c3511fe4b0bb04a62c8e59" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/facebook-meta-name-change-twitter-mark-zuckerberg_n_617af61ce4b066de4f6d9791" data-vars-target-content-type="buzz" data-vars-type="web_internal_link" data-vars-subunit-name="article_body" data-vars-subunit-type="component" data-vars-position-in-subunit="2">Meta</a> CEO Mark Zuckerberg, U.S. lawmakers are requesting he answer a series of questions on the social media platform’s role in protecting democratic values.
In an open letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, U.S. lawmakers are requesting he answer a series of questions on the social media platform’s role in protecting democratic values.
NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images

In testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee in October, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen claimed the company turned off safeguards meant to prevent the spread of misinformation and violent content, which helped fuel hate groups and contributed to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

“I saw Facebook repeatedly encounter conflicts between its own profit and our safety. Facebook consistently resolved these conflicts in favor of its own profits,” Haugen said during her testimony.

Zuckerberg responded to Haugen’s comments in a Facebook post, saying a “false picture” was being reported about the social media company.

Facebook Inc. was renamed “Meta” in October, with Zuckerberg describing the company as the “successor to the mobile internet,” according to Recode.

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