'Take action to combat anti-Muslim bigotry': Democratic senators tell Facebook

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Nov 17, 2020, 07:55 AM(IST)

File photo: Photograph:( Reuters )

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In June 2019, Facebook responded to concerns about these practices by creating a "call to arms" policy that prohibits event pages that call for individuals to bring weapons to a location.

Fifteen US Democratic Senators have urged Facebook to fully address anti-Muslim bigotry on its platform, which has enabled offline violence against Muslims in the United States and around the world.

"Facebook is a groundbreaking company that has revolutionised the way we communicate. Unfortunately, the connectivity that can bring people together in many positive ways also has been used to dehumanise and stoke violence against Muslims, Black people, Latinos, immigrants, the Jewish community, Sikhs, Christians, women, and other communities here and across the world," the Senators wrote.

Reports indicate that the platform has also been used to support the internment of the Uyghurs in China and other human rights violations against this population, that Facebook and WhatsApp have been used to incite violence against Muslims, and that Facebook has been used to promote hate and violence in other areas around the world, the Senators wrote in the letter to Zuckerberg.

Advocacy groups similarly detailed the extent and persistence of anti-Muslim hate content on Facebook in multiple reports last year, concerns that have been amplified by recent allegations that some high-ranking employees at Facebook have enabled hate speech against Muslims and others by applying the platform's content moderation policies in a selective manner, wrote the Senators.

In June 2019, Facebook responded to concerns about these practices by creating a "call to arms" policy that prohibits event pages that call for individuals to bring weapons to a location.

However, the senators note that Facebook has not taken adequate steps to enforce this policy, which should have barred an event page in Kenosha, Wisconsin earlier this year, as well as a 2019 event page used to plan an armed protest at the largest Muslim community convention in the country.

Meanwhile, Hate crimes in the US rose to the highest level in more than a decade as federal officials also recorded the highest number of hate-motivated killings since the FBI began collecting that data in the early 1990s, according to an FBI report released Monday.

There were 51 hate crime murders in 2019, which includes 22 people who were killed in a shooting that targeted Mexicans at a Walmart in the border city of El Paso, Texas, the report said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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