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 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.