(Reuters) – Civil rights group Muslim Advocates sued Facebook Inc. and its top executives on Thursday, claiming they misled the US Congress and others by falsely claiming that the company was removing content that violated its policies.
The lawsuit alleges that Facebook routinely failed to remove content that violated its rules, including anti-Muslim groups and pages flagged by rights organizations and experts. The submission said that this included pages and groups with names that compared Muslims to "dirt" and contained calls for "unite against", "purge" or "wipe out" Islam.
Social media platforms have long been under scrutiny for how they handle hate speech, violent content and other abuses on their platforms.
In July 2020, Facebook published a civil law review commissioned by the company, which said that more resources should be invested in studying and dealing with organized hatred against Muslims and other targeted groups on the platform.
"We do not allow hate speech on Facebook and work regularly with experts, non-profit organizations and stakeholders to ensure that Facebook is a safe place for all, and recognize that anti-Muslim rhetoric can take various forms," said a Facebook spokesman in a statement. "We have invested in AI technology to remove hate speech and we are proactively discovering 97 percent of what we remove."
The lawsuit, filed in the District of Columbia Superior Court in Washington, claims that Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and other executives violated the district's consumer protection law through their statements to remove offensive content.
Zuckerberg, who has appeared before Congress seven times since 201
However, the company has been criticized by civil rights groups for not consistently enforcing these rules.
In the lawsuit, the judge asks that statements made by Facebook executives violate the DC Consumer Protection Procedures Act and claim damages for Muslim lawyers.
Muslim lawyers are a non-profit base in Washington. Catalog