Civil rights groups leading the Facebook ad boycott met with Mark Zuckerberg. They say nothing has changed.


(JTA) — Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t changed his tune about Facebook’s stance on the spread of hate on the social media platform.

That’s what the heads of several civil rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, said following a meeting Tuesday with Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives to discuss the demands of the advertisers that joined the #StopHateForProfit movement.

“It was abundantly clear in our meeting today that Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team is not yet ready to address the vitriolic hate on their platform,” read a statement issued by the leaders after the meeting. “Zuckerberg offered the same old defense of white supremacist, antisemitic, Islamophobic and other hateful groups on Facebook that the Stop Hate For Profit Coalitions, advertisers and society at large have heard too many times before.”

Dozens of Facebook’s largest advertisers are boycotting the platform this month, according to the movement. Among them are Starbucks, Hershey, Coca-Cola, Ben & Jerry’s, the North Face and Patagonia.

Led by the ADL, the groups launched the campaign to protest Facebook’s unwillingness to police hate speech or monitor posts for misinformation. The campaign has issued a list of 10 demands, including a permanent civil rights infrastructure, independent audits of identity-based hate and misinformation, and an internal mechanism to automatically flag hateful content in private groups for human review.

The Stop Hate for Profit leaders said the Facebook executives — COO Sheryl Sandberg and the chief product officer, Christopher Cox, joined Zuckerberg — only addressed one item on the list, and that it was unsatisfactory.

The leaders of the ADL, NAACP, Color of Change and Free Press were in the meeting.

Afterward, Facebook spokesman Andy Stone called the meeting “an opportunity for us to hear from the campaign organizers and reaffirm our commitment to combating hate on our platform. They want Facebook to be free of hate speech and so do we.”

Stone said that Facebook has banned more than 250 white supremacist organizations and created new policies to prohibit voter and census interference.

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