Scientists Funded By Zuckerberg Group Warn Facebook ‘Antithetical’ To Their Mission

Adrian Ovalle

More than 140 scientists funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Effort (CZI), a humanitarian organization begun by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, have actually signed an open letter warning that Facebook’s failure to impose its own policies damages CZI’s mission of developing a more “inclusive, just, and healthy future.”

The group particularly called out the expansion of purposeful false information and dissentious language on the platform, calling them “antithetical” to the goal of CZI, which is to “use technology to help solve some of our toughest challenges.”

“Social media platforms, like Facebook, have emerged as primary ways of communicating information,” the letter checks out. “While they have allowed dissemination of information across the globe, they also facilitate the spread of misinformation. The spread of news that is not vetted for factual accuracy leads to confusion and a mistrust of experts.”

As an example, the letter notes Zuckerberg’s current decision not to do something about it on a series of inflammatory Facebook posts by President Trump. Trump, reacting to across the country discontent following the death of George Floyd, called protesters “THUGS” and stated “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” parroting a racist Miami authorities chief’s quote versus 1960 s civil liberties demonstrations.

The group states Trump’s post “is a clear statement of inciting violence,” which they keep in mind breaks Facebook’s own policies. (Zuckerberg has actually argued the expression does not prompt damage– a conclusion civil liberties leaders who consulted with Zuckerberg called “incomprehensible”).

“Like many, we were disconcerted to see that Facebook has not followed their own policies in regards to President Trump,” they compose, “who has used the Facebook platform to spread both misinformation and incendiary statements.”

The letter concludes by advising Zuckerberg “to consider stricter policies on misinformation and incendiary language that harms people or groups of people, especially in our current climate that is grappling with racial injustice.”

CZI didn’t right away react to an ask for comment Sunday, however in a declaration to The Edge, the group stressed its status as a different entity from Facebook.

“We are grateful for our staff, partners and grantees in this work and we respect their right to voice their opinions, including on Facebook policies,” the declaration checked out.

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