ADL Statement on Facebook's Decision to Remove Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones and Other Bigots from Platform

New York, NY, May 2, 2019 ... ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt issued the following statement regarding Facebook's decision today remove anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and other bigots from its platform:

It’s important that social platforms make policy decisions that combat hate and so this is a long overdue step by Facebook but a move that we welcome.  Still, it’s not enough for tech companies to make fighting hate part of their press strategy. When Facebook made a similar decision last year, extremists and their supporters were able to circumvent those measures. We will wait and see how Facebook responds to that challenge.

Companies also must recognize that banning any one person or leader does not address others on their platforms that are affiliated with them nor necessarily slow the flow of similarly hateful ideas. Therefore, despite this ban, such toxicity likely will persist. Facebook and other platforms need to apply the same degree of energy and intensity to tackling this problem that drives other aspects of their business.

Finally we only will be able to judge the effectiveness of this effort based on the data. Thus we strongly encourage Facebook to share measurable information about the success or failure of this initiative with ADL or other organizations. Whether through external audits or some other verifiable reporting mechanism, we need transparency in order to gauge its performance.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.