Over 400 scientists funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative have in an open letter sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg urged him to do more to curb misinformation on the platform.
The scientists have raised concerns regarding the company’s last week stand over a controversial post made by US President Donald Trump. The post was also cross-posted on Twitter and the company took action by flagging the tweet for “glorifying violence.”
For Facebook, Zuckerberg said they won’t take any action as part of promoting free speech on the platform.
In a letter, the scientists said, “The spread of news that is not vetted for factual accuracy leads to confusion and a mistrust of experts.” They argued that Facebook’s inaction goes against its own policies.
“… we were disconcerted to see that Facebook has not followed their own policies in regards to President Trump,” the letter reads.
Trump’s post spread “both misinformation and incendiary statements,” the scientists said. One example given in the letter is “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” a statement made by Trump last week. This has been considered as “a clear statement of inciting violence.”
The CZI scientists closed the letter urging Zuckerberg to consider stricter policies on misinformation and incendiary language. However, Facebook CEO on Friday said that they will review policies on speech promoting violence.
For the unaware, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded by Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, and his wife Priscilla Chan in 2015. It is a separate entity from Facebook with its own offices.
The primary mission of the Initiative is to help solve general social issues. From preventing and eradicating disease; to improving learning experiences for kids, to reforming the criminal justice system.