Democrats push Mark Zuckerberg over Meta’s actions before the January 6 Capitol attack

A group of 13 Democratic senators led by Minnesota’s Amy Klobuchar and Rhode Island’s Jack Reed called on Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to answer how Facebook handled enforcement of disinformation ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Citing documents and testimonies shared by Facebook whistleblower Francis Hogan, they say they want to know why the company “prematurely” removed the safeguards it had before the 2020 presidential election.

“This measure allowed misinformation, disinformation, and violent rhetoric to return to the platform immediately after Election Day and in the period leading up to the January 6 uprising,” the group said.

Many questions center around the defunct Meta Civic Integrity team. During her testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, Haugen said that the company was disbanded shortly after the 2020 election. This is a claim that Meta has consistently contested.

“We haven’t solved Civic Integrity,” said Jay Rosen, META Vice President of Integrity. time in October. “We’ve integrated them into a larger Central Integrity team so that the incredible work pioneering elections can be applied further, for example, across health-related issues. Their work continues to this day.”

To this point, the group is asking Zuckerberg when Meta made the decision to disband the team and who ultimately did. They also want to know which part of the Meta is currently responsible for overseeing its efforts to prevent election-related misinformation, as well as details such as the number of employees the company has hired for that department. Other than these questions, the group says they want to know how Meta plans to protect the integrity of future elections.

“While we acknowledge Facebook’s efforts to prevent the spread of election-related misinformation, violent rhetoric, and harassment ahead of the 2020 election, it is clear that they were not enough to prevent lies about the election from taking root on the platform and fueling it,” Klobuchar, Reed and 11 other senators said. our democracy.”

The group stops short of threatening to take regulatory action against Meta. The Senate could call Zuckerberg to testify as Instagram chief Adam Mosseri was asked to do earlier this month. While most US lawmakers agree that more should be done to regulate Facebook and other social media platforms, Democrats and Republicans have not found much common ground on how to approach the issue.

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