Almost two hundred scientists connected to the Chan Zuckerberg research foundations have signed onto a letter imploring tech billionaire and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to take steps to slow the spread of misinformation coming from U.S. President Donald Trump just months before the November election.
The letter, which is having names added to it all the time, called on Zuckerberg to step in as one of the keepers of the primary communication platforms in the country. The scientists said that Facebook has “allowed dissemination of information across the globe” and said that by doing so they are facilitating the “spread of misinformation.”
“The spread of news that is not vetted for factual accuracy leads to confusion and a mistrust of experts. Indeed, Facebook acknowledges this in their own user policies.”
This plea comes after months of Facebook’s fact-checking has caused many to ask whether the platform should be looked at as a purveyor of information or simply a facilitator of communication.
Competing social platform Twitter has already taken a stand against the president’s social media habits, adding warnings to some of his recent tweets. The platform left some of his more inflammatory tweets but added a warning that they were deemed to be encouraging violence and therefore in violation of the company’s standards.
The letter accused Facebook of not following the practices that it has laid out for users, saying that the company has allowed the platform to “spread both misinformation and incendiary statements.”
The scientists also cited their receipt of grants from the Chan Zuckerberg foundations and said that their mission to “use technology to help solve some of our toughest challenges” was being violated by Facebook in its current position. They claimed that allowing Trump to continue the “spread of deliberate misinformation” would be “directly antithetical” to the goals set out by their organization.
“We urge you 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.”
The group’s letter came on the heels of Zuckerberg taking a stand against Twitter’s use of warnings on the president’s content, as The Inquisitr previously reported. The tech giant CEO said in an interview with Fox News that he didn’t believe it was the job of platforms like his to be the “arbiters of truth” and that freedom of speech was paramount to his organization.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reacts to the news that President Trump says he will take action against Big Tech. pic.twitter.com/NxRa96gZBb
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) May 28, 2020
Facebook has come under fire on more than one occasion for what many believe is the censorship of information not in agreement with the company leadership’s worldview. The CEO now seems to be walking that sentiment back in the face of a possible crackdown by the Trump administration.