Facebook worked with far-left “civil rights” groups during the election, according to a new “civil rights audit” from the company.
In a post to Facebook’s blog on December 18, COO Sheryl Sandberg wrote that Facebook talked to over 90 “civil rights organizations” and asked former legislative director of the ACLU, Laura Murphy, to “guide the audit.” These organizations were even invited into the election war room.
Sandberg added that Murphy had worked with Facebook for the past six months, especially during the 2018 midterm elections. Facebook revised its policies on “prohibiting voter suppression” as a direct response to both Murphy and the 90 organizations’ feedback. Facebook will be “better prepared for future elections,” according to Sandberg.
Facebook will also continue to encourage voter participation, said Sandberg. “Facebook and Instagram helped register an estimated 2 million people in 2018,” she wrote.
The report didn’t just stop at elections. In the update to the audit, Murphy wrote that Facebook was accused of “allowing the propagation of hate speech.” While she wrote of the decisions that Facebook had made that were in line with the audit, Murphy admitted that she “rejected the false dichotomy of choosing free speech at the expense of other rights.”
Some of her other concerns listed included voter suppression on Facebook, content moderation and enforcement, and diversity and inclusion. Murphy mentioned that Facebook hired “voting experts” but named no names.
Murphy wrote that she wanted to ensure that Facebook was “protecting users in minority groups from hateful and/or racist expression.” She also expressed concern that Facebook’s employee diversity wasn’t broad enough. While she was most likely talking about the lack of African-American employees at Facebook, it is worth mentioning that conservatives who work at Facebook are few and far in between.
In the future, Murphy wanted more focus on “addressing censorship and harmful and potentially discriminating content on the platform.” It seems, from all that was said about censorship in a positive light, that Murphy is very much for more censorship of content on Facebook.
Murphy stated that she was interested in seeing Facebook increase its transparency in the policy-making process. Conservatives Against Online Censorship, a coalition headed by the Media Research Center, has also made several calls for transparency in Facebook’s actions.
Facebook has engaged former Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) to work with the company on conservative interests. An anti-conservative bias audit is currently ongoing within Facebook and its release is expected in early 2019.
Facebook Is Working with Major Liberal Influences
Murphy worked with the ACLU for 17 years, according to her ACLU bio. She had “particular expertise” in the “civil rights implications of the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism measures.” She also is a pro-abortion advocate, publishing a defense of Roe v. Wade in HuffPost.
In 2016, Murphy worked with Airbnb to help them “battle discrimination.” Later, in 2017, the Hill reported that Airbnb hosts were telling prospective lodgers that they “don’t trust Trump supporters to stay in our place.”
The audit stated that Facebook’s relationship with the right-leaning Definers Public Affairs only added to Murphy’s concerns. She then referred to liberal billionaire George Soros as a “key civil rights stakeholder,” whom Facebook had the audacity to attack. Facebook ended its relationship with Definers in November, but has since received major backlash from the liberal media for being “anti-Semitic” for researching Soros.
Sandberg introduced the audit update on Facebook, saying, “We know we need to do more: to listen, look deeper, and take action to respect fundamental rights.” She then acknowledged the independent study provided to the Senate Select Committee by the Oxford Computational Propaganda Project. Sandberg wrote that Facebook has taken that report “incredibly seriously,” even though the report was written by anti-conservative academics.
Sandberg wrote that Facebook has “engaged with the noted civil rights law firm Relman, Dane and Colfax to provide legal analysis and advice.” However, this law firm is one that has played a role in many cases where members of the LGBTQ community have sued Christian nonprofits. This same law firm is currently engaged in a lawsuit with the ACLU against Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson.