Rights Groups Accuse Facebook Of “Racially Biased Censorship”

Censorship And Free SpeechAbout 80 rights groups sent a letter to Facebook this week blasting the social media giant for a lack of transparency with how it handles removing content and working with law enforcement. The groups also accused Facebook of “racially biased censorship.”

The letter was a response to one written by Facebook senior VP and director of global policy Joel Kaplan in December that attempted to explain Facebook’s policies. However, the groups’ letter to Kaplan and Mark Zuckerberg criticized Kaplan’s December letter for not actually clarifying anything — especially the site’s supposed racially-motivated double standard.

“Activists in the Movement for Black Lives have routinely reported the takedown of images discussing racism and during protests, with the justification that it violates Facebook’s Community Standards,” the groups wrote. “At the same time, harassment and threats directed at activists based on their race, religion and sexual orientation is thriving on Facebook.”

“This pattern of censorship represents a double standard, one that seems to be addressed only through direct activist intervention or significant media attention,” the letter continued.

Facebook has tried hard to be more transparent in the eyes of the public, but as critics like these rights groups point out, the site could still stand to be a lot clearer on how it handles privacy and censorship issues.