New York, NY, December 9, 2020 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement that 48 states and the Federal Trade Commission filed antitrust lawsuits against Facebook:
Earlier this year, Stop Hate for Profit brought together over 1,200 businesses, 120 nonprofits, and global celebrities in a campaign that reached over a billion people. This massive public pressure effort forced Facebook to move forward in making necessary policy and product changes to address hate on the platform, and finally put people over profit.
Still, at the outset of the campaign, Mark Zuckerberg was quoted as saying ‘My guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.’ Zuckerberg had a point. Small businesses were reaching out to our campaign to express their support of holding Facebook accountable, but many said they were unable to pause their ads because of how much they rely on Facebook advertising for their business.
The fact that it took this many voices and that much public pressure to force Facebook to do right by their users is unacceptable. It demonstrates that our society’s ability to hold tech companies to account for how they govern their platforms is broken.
Because one man decided Holocaust denial was misinformation and not hate speech, against the advice of experts such as ADL and others in the Jewish community, that was the rule of law on the largest communication platform in human history for a decade. This cannot continue.
We welcome all serious attempts to hold Facebook accountable for their failure to address the real problems of hate, harassment, disinformation, and extremism on their platform.